On the horizon of my 27th birthday in 2011, I found myself dealing with a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was overweight and at the time, literally “fat, sick, and nearly dead.” I went through six months of chemotherapy, the standard treatment. In May of 2012, my cancer recurred and my next treatment option was a stem cell transplant which I had in November of 2012. I learned a lot about myself during that time. It was a difficult time but a time of immense growth. I grew stronger mentally which would later give me the strength to grow stronger physically. I was determined to make a change. I had been overweight for practically all of my life and food was a friend of mine. Although I didn’t know what to do and where to start, I knew I just had to get going. It was no longer for the vanity of it to look better in nice clothes, or just a thing to try out for a few weeks. This time it had to work because my LIFE depended on it. My faith, family support, and strangely enough cancer, helped me to see it through and change my life for the better. Once I was medically cleared, I joined the club in 2013. Although I did lose some weight as a result of my cancer treatment, I was still 300 pounds. I started on the cardio deck doing the elliptical at least 4 days a week. Then I made my way to my first Zumba class where I fell in LOVE! I started with a lack of confidence at the back of the class, but now I am faithfully in attendance in the front of Sherina and Kai’s Zumba classes. With Zumba, clean eating, faith, and being consistent and conscious of the things I allow into my body and my life I am now 120 pounds lighter. And even better! I have been cancer free since November 2012! My message is that none of us are perfect but with faith, consistency, and determination, you CAN change your life. With the encouragement of Sherina Gilpin my Zumba instructor, and the joy that I get from telling my story, I am very excited to share it with you and I do hope to be an inspiration to others that have the desire to attain a better life experience. The things that I was not confident enough to do before I now say “why not?” I enjoy everyday that I wake up and have the opportunity to live out my purpose and I think sharing my story is a big part of that. Living life is okay but living a healthy life is better!