Life It’s impossible to let Breast Cancer Awareness Month pass by without taking time to applaud my wife, Cheri. Not only does she own half of the business, coach our employees through CrossFit drills, and have enough fire in her little body to kick my butt one-handed, but she’s been cancer- free now for more than five years. Cheri’s battle with breast cancer started when she was 42 and discovered a lump on one of her breasts. Her sister had died of breast cancer at age 40, and Cheri was so afraid of an awful diagnosis that she didn’t say anything about what she’d found. A month later, she finally mentioned it to me, and I convinced her to have it checked out right away. When the results came back on the biopsy, her worst fear was confirmed — it was breast cancer. At that time, Cheri’s life was incredibly busy. She was running operations at Lynnpro until 2:30 p.m. each day, then zipping over to our pizza parlor to work for the rest of the night. She even spent her weekends at the restaurant. When the result of the biopsy came in, her first reaction was, “I can’t afford this time off.” Looking back, I think that moment laid the groundwork for the major life change we’d make later. Cheri was determined to fight her way through her illness in as little time as possible. When we asked the doctors about the best way to meet the cancer head-on, they suggested a double mastectomy, so that’s what Cheri had. From there, she went into chemo. She was lucky to get into a trial program that had her go in just every three weeks, so she wouldn’t have to miss work. We owned two family businesses, and, even though I told her to focus on getting better, she didn’t want to let our employees down.
From the time of her diagnosis, through the double mastectomy, chemo, and reconstructive surgery, Cheri only missed five full days of work, and took maybe 15 half-days off. Even then, the half-days were only because the chemo clinic was more than an hour from our house. Cheri was a trooper, and she still is. She was declared officially cancer-free more than five years ago, and her doctors always say they can’t believe she’s doing so well. I consider myself a very lucky man. Cheri’s experience with cancer changed her perspective on health, and, even before her reconstructive surgery, she developed a passion for fitness. She’d regularly do as many as 140 pushups, 15 minutes of
jumping rope, or what seemed like 9,000 jumping jacks without taking a break. Her constant refrain at the time was, “How can I push myself?” After her reconstructive surgery, she was actually disappointed she couldn’t do pushups as well anymore! Since those days of treatment and surgery, we’ve changed our lives drastically. We sold our pizza parlor and refocused on Lynnpro with a healthy work-life balance as our top priority. Cheri and I don’t work nights and weekends anymore. Instead, we travel all over, doing more than we ever thought possible. Last year, we saw 85 concerts in less than six months, and we still make it a point to catch live music regularly and bike every weekend.
As for the business, instead of chasing money, we attract it. Our saying is, “We don’t hunt with our business. We farm with it.” Abundance is our mindset, and we firmly believe you can reshape your life by thinking positively — where your thoughts go, your abilities will follow. All of that said, the specter of breast cancer still hangs over our family, and we make sure our 30-year-old daughter, Miranda, checks in with her doctor regularly because her genetic likelihood of getting breast cancer is high. This month, I urge you to celebrate the cancer survivors in your life, mourn those you’ve lost, and do what you can to help with the search for a cure.
“This month, I urge you to celebrate the cancer survivors in your life, mourn those you’ve lost, and do what you can to help with the search for a cure.”
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