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Season of RAD

Hi, my name is Michelle Ritter.

I’ve been fundraising for Barbells for Boobs for six years and have been a part of the RAD program for a little over a year. On October 11, 2013, I learned that I had Stage II HER2+ breast cancer.

It’s a little cliche, but that phone call changed my life.

It wasn't because of the treatments or surgeries.

It was because, for the first time, there was a question of my mortality. Over the course of the next year, I had eight rounds of chemo and 6 surgeries and thought I was finished. Cured. However, in June of 2015, I was again diagnosed with cancer -this time Stage IV triple-negative metastatic cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes and my pelvic bone.

Once again, I was confronted with the very real possibility of death. There was a chance that I wouldn’t live to see my children grow up and that was terrifying. Luckily, I had wonderful doctors who believed that I could beat the odds and survive. And today, I am cancer-free.

Cancer taught me a lot and, in some ways, it has made me stronger.

These past few years have been tough for me…I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about all the trials and all the joys that have come my way AND wondering what the future may have in store for me. Some days I am so grateful for what I have that it almost hurts.

Other days I am fearful of what might happen in the future. Never again will the simple act of waking up as a healthy individual be taken for granted.

I love how accessible everyone is to me. From the coaches (both mental and physical) to Z to the marketing team to the members, there is ALWAYS someone that I can reach out to for help or support. I love that I can help others through the FB group who have questions about things that I have experienced. My only regret was that I didn't have the RAD program while I was going through treatment!

Michelle RitterRAD Athlete

Enter BFB and the RAD program.

Words cannot express how grateful I am for their presence in my life. They have provided me with a community of people with whom I have shared experiences. They have forced me to confront fears and roadblocks that were holding me back. They have given me hugs, tears, and laughter.

They have strengthened my confidence, taught me about resilience, and given me grace. There is a quote I like that states, “There are friends and there is family and there are friends that become family.” The BFB RAD program has given me a new family full of love, support, crazy antics, and friendship and I am grateful beyond measure.

All my love goes out to every one of the people who make this happen every day.  As F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote: “You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest and most beautiful [people] I have ever known — and even that is an understatement.

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