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“Being healthy in both body and mind helped me greatly to weather the storm.”
Carole Donnellon, Assistant Director of Business Affairs in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
What’s the benefit of healthy habits, like a healthy diet and exercise program, if it doesn’t prevent sickness and disease? Well, healthy habits have benefits in and of themselves. And, as you can see in my personal “Be Well” story, although it could not prevent breast cancer, being healthy in both body and mind helped me greatly to weather the storm.
How vain was I to think that because I tried to eat right and exercised I would avoid rough diseases like cancer? Research shows that approximately 20-40% of cancers could be prevented by eating healthy and exercising. Great! Let’s all be healthy and avoid cancer. The flip side to this for me means that 60-80% of cancers are not prevented by a healthy lifestyle. Welcome to my world and perspectives.
One thing I knew for sure was that I was not going to let this ruin my life. The type of cancer I had has a 70% survival rate and there was every reason to believe I would be in that 70%. I just had to get through treatment. Making healthy lifestyle choices before the diagnosis definitely helped me have a better recovery.
Thankfully, I have a wonderful support system. Great family, great friends and great co-workers. My family and friends provided endless love and I couldn’t ask for a better place to work. I am eternally grateful for the support from my supervisor and co-workers. My mom and my husband were enormously helpful by going to doctor appointments and chemo with me and my kids took on more at home.
The treatment was hard, but it is over and it was successful, so it’s all good. I try to focus on the good and the humorous.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is to develop healthy habits into our everyday lives, like eating healthier, moving more and laugh at life’s craziness.
What's your plan?
Make time for wellness -whatever time you can - and you'll start to see the benefits. We all have our barriers, but also all have our motivations. What are yours?
We are so proud to have Carole on our team of Wellness Ambassadors, helping us to build a culture of health on campus! She along with the rest of our team help to promote programming, encourage participation in challenges and lead by example.