Inspiring Stroies

Start Unknown, Finish Unforgettable

As I pass my cancerversary, I cannot thank my lucky stars enough for programmes like MOVE. Being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in the final year of my undergraduate degree was hard enough. But losing out on socialising and simple things, like walks in local parks, was what really bothered me.

Prior to a shock diagnosis, I was never the type to go to the gym. I was a social butterfly and got my activities in that way through walks around my local city and its green spaces. I’d always struggled with my body image but never had the motivation to do anything about this, but boy, was that about to change. My diagnosis engaged this horrid hypochondria for my health. Despite being told it was cancer, I was more worried about the state of my organs and whether that would come to an unfortunate end. Luckily, it did not, but my fitness levels peaked.

Due to six months of inpatient treatment and isolation in my room, the exercise opportunities were limited. On breaks between rounds of chemotherapy, I would attempt walking but often tire halfway through – something needed to change. As I reached remission, I knew now was the time to action any previous temptations. The cancer is gone, and I need to work on bettering myself. That’s when I found MOVE. I never expected to have such high-standard, bespoke and genuine support. I was blown away by the initial call.

Helen, my outstanding specialist, went above and beyond for me. It’s so refreshing to connect with someone truly interested in yourself and your goals. We spoke through a multitude of options and eventually concluded (one which Helen was more than happy to re-accommodate when I needed it). I started the eight weeks with my reservations. It was the first time I had anyone holding me accountable for my actions, but maybe it would work. The weekly calls are incredibly motivating. There’s no pressure to complete everything planned each week, but it really is worth it if you’re up to it.

I aspired to get fitter, get more enjoyment out of physical exercise, and reignite the appreciation I had for myself and my health. Every week was different, and you could really feel the progress as you moved along. I would thoroughly recommend MOVE to anyone whose looking to repair their relationship with fitness post-cancer. No one knows what you’re going through, and the expectation that you’re back to normal so soon can be damaging. It allows you to return to a new normal at a pace that suits you. There’s no judgement during the process, and it’s clear that MOVE has your best intentions at the forefront of their actions.

As for now, I’m staying put with the gym whilst integrating some of my MOVE workouts. I’m continuing my couch to 5k and hoping to give back to MOVE where I can!

By Katie Mortimer