Jodi F of Central Valley, NY

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"In 2015 my husband had two stem cell transplants back-to-back. I was working full-time, back and forth to the hospital, and really just running myself. I needed to do that because I needed to take care of the children and I needed to take care of him.

In the midst of doing that, I just felt tired, exhausted, and almost like I was losing sight of myself and who I am and what I needed to be to take care of them. I missed the exercise part. I missed the feeling that I get when I exercise. I missed feeling strong.

It was really the chemo and stem cell transplants. Watching Steve, he has always been physically fit. A lot of physical bodies could not endure the medical treatment that he had to sustain. Watching him power through it without even looking back, it was so inspirational because he never complained. He said, “This is what I’ve got to do. I’m all in.”

In watching him do that, I saw him accomplish something that a lot of people can’t recover from. Then he lived a normal life. Then it came time to do it again, and then he lived a normal life. I reflected to myself, ‘If that were me, could I do that? Am I that physically fit that my body would bounce back and recover like that?’

The reflection was important. The need for self care. That is one piece of advice I have for young mothers: take the time for yourself. I always thought it was selfish to leave my kids after working all day to come to the gym for an hour. I learned that I’m a better person when I walk through that door after coming to RD because I’ve taken an hour out of the day for myself."

—Jodi F of Central Valley, NY