AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – To the fitness world, instructor Karen Ollari is known as a workout warrior, but for so many who have come to know her on a personal level, she is also a cancer survivor. breast and true inspiration.
The owner of Knock Out Fitness in Agawam had breast cancer 12 years ago. She says her journey has been long, sometimes uncertain. So she knows first-hand what nearly 280,000 other women will experience when diagnosed each year.
âI had maybe had about 6 lumpectomies. It was always on one side and after so much, they were like, “It keeps growing back.” Every time he grew back he got a little bigger, so the recommendation was to have a double mastectomy, which was shocking because you sort of hope, “Oh, I can just get treatment,” Ollari said. .
Ollari traveled to Boston for a second opinion, with doctors confirming that she would need to have this invasive surgery. She had it at home in western Massachusetts in Baystate. Then came the good news. By January 2012, KO had eliminated his cancer. It was then that his two worlds collided, his fitness family and his family of survivors, coming together to celebrate his life and countless others.
âThe very first year my husband and I signed up to run at Rays of Hope. And our daughters arrived that morning. They were like, “We want to walk with you,” and that was really good. And since then I have been forming a team, but it means a lot that everyone is ready to do it, âsaid Ollari.
While the walk takes place once a year, for the other 360 days, Ollari’s mission is to keep people on their cancer journey or in their lives. Gives various fitness classes throughout the week, where her door and ears are always open.
“It is the only body you have and it will be with you throughout your life, so we have to take care of it,” said Ollari.