MEET OUR INCREDIBLE WINNERS
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Alison Hoffman, Leopold

In June 2016, my brother – my best friend – died by suicide. My world was turned on its head. I was beyond devastated – I gave up on life.

I stopped caring about myself and my health declined.  I gained a lot of weight.  I was deeply depressed.

1 year later, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Facing death, I decided right then and there that it was time to LIVE again. I decided to fight.

I had chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, radiotherapy, a total hysterectomy and removal of my ovaries, and will take hormone therapy for at least 10 years.

I’m the midst of all of this, I joined Anytime Fitness Leopold.  I hadn’t set foot in a gym for years. I was nervous, but I didn’t need to be – the staff made me feel immediately supported and comfortable.

I managed to lose some weight on my own, and then I decided to try ‘a few sessions’ with a PT.  That’s when I met Cathy!  She is so inspiring, kind, motivating, genuine and fun.  I decided to shift my focus to being strong!  I still train with Cathy twice per week.

My Anytime Fitness journey has changed my life.  I have confidence again.  I have learned to trust and love my body again.  I found new passion in hiking and reignited my love for travel.  I miss my brother, but I live a life that honours him.  I raised over $500 in the Tread Together Challenge this year to support Suicide Prevention.

The transformation is happening not only on the outside, but inside too. The value of that simply cannot be put into words.

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Jayden Cummins, Camperdown

I joined Anytime Fitness in 2017. In my mid-forties, I was keen to improve my overall health and wellbeing, and loved the new gym. I was getting fitter, and dropping kilo’s. I’m a single dad to a 13 year old boy, so I loved the freedom of working out around our busy lifestyle.

In November, I got the flu, which quickly attacked my heart. I was placed on life-support and transported to St Vincent’s Hospital in a coma.

Too sick for a heart transplant, my only option was an artificial heart to try and keep me alive until a donor heart became available. I flatlined during surgery, for more than a minute, but the amazing team at St Vincent’s brought me back. I woke up from my coma, weeks later, with a mechanical heart.

Today, I feel amazing. I’m back in the gym almost every day. I’m one of about 25 people in Australia without a heartbeat – no pulse – just a machine in my chest that pumps my blood (LVAD). I wear a battery pack and controller around my waist, which is connected via a cable that goes through my abdomen. It’s not pretty, but hey – I’m alive!!

Some days are tough, I won’t lie. I don’t know why I survived. Maybe it was the extra five minutes on the treadmill, or the extra set of butterfly curls that made my body strong enough to fight the fight. Life is so fragile.

I’m now waiting for a donor heart. I can’t control what happens tomorrow… but I can control what happens today. I will continue to workout alongside my Anytime Fitness family so that I am as fit as possible for when I get that phone call. Every step, squat and lunge I take gets me closer to that goal.

Thank you!

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Meagan Clarke, Traralgon

Exercise has literally saved my life. People ask how I cope with the stress of my 8yr old daughter diagnosed with a mediastinal mass with no good outcome, and my 4yr old son diagnosed with benign hyper mobility syndrome, on top of being a single mum and running a business.

The answer is exercise and the amazing team at ATF Traralgon. I was so nervous about joining a gym but I can say I have no issues walking in by myself every morning, it’s a true community. I’ve found my happy place, my safe place; where the trips to the cancer centre, hearing her scream “just let me die, this is never going to end” don’t exist.

I was extremely overweight and was riddled with anxiety. That has completely disappeared now with no medication at all and I’ve lost 40kg.

Before joining Anytime Fitness, the balance of my daughter with a critical illness, my son in a world of pain with many obstacles, and running a hair salon from home so I can be flexible for hospital trips, was all becoming too much, mentally and physically.

Thank you just doesn’t seem enough to the staff at Anytime Fitness, apart from the huge transformation in my body with strength and fitness, you have transformed my mind, making the impossible possible, in and out of the gym. You made me strive, achieve and feel proud, which shows my kids that anything is possible. The hardest days I can now step through, knowing a problem is only as big as I react. I will continue to highly recommend joining Anytime Fitness as the proof is in the pudding with me. Now I can be the super mum my kids need!