Childhood cancer survivor to Pilates Pro!
How do you feel after a Pilates session?
After each Pilates session I always leave feeling excited for the next!! OC is amazing, she tailors each and every movement to my needs and always has modifications up her sleeve if something doesn’t feel quite right to me. I always look forward to my weekly sessions with her, they truly are a highlight of my week.
Do you have any advice for someone going through a similar journey?
For those going through a similar journey my advice to you is simple. “If you believe, you can achieve”. This is what I continued to tell myself throughout treatment and today here I am, I survived despite every adversity that was thrown at me and still continues to be thrown at me. My other piece of advice is, I can highly recommend starting a private Pilates session with one of Pilates Haus’ trainers. Words cannot describe how beneficial this has been in helping me these past months. I love how my sessions are personally tailored to me and my individual ability. If a particular movement doesn’t quite suit my body’s limitation OC is always able to quickly tailor it to my needs.
You have an incredible story of overcoming childhood cancer. Do you mind sharing a bit about that?
In 2017, at 14 years old I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. The overall journey was traumatic, scary and something I struggle with today at 19 years old.
After enduring chemotherapy, in March 2018, I was admitted to commence intensive preparation in the lead up to a Bone Marrow Transplant. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have my brother’s cells 100% match my own and he kindly donated his bone marrow to me.
After receiving his donation I was in an isolation room for 23 days, then I needed to stay near the hospital for a further month. After 4 months I felt strong enough to return to normal living. I returned to school and got back into participating in all the sports that I loved.
Unfortunately, after only 13 months of normalcy, around my 16th birthday I was told I had relapsed.
Treatment after relapsing included more chemotherapy and many rounds of full body radiation. I then received a second transplant which was from an anonymous donor, it was a stem cell transplant.
This transplant was definitely traumatic to get through and not as easy as the first one. From lesions on the brain to mucositis and a serious case of graft versus host disease which resulted in my need for medical steroids. I dealt with a host of negatively severe side effects. As a result, I spent OVER 120 DAYS in complete isolation after that second transplant.
Many of these side effects will stay with me forever and I struggle with them daily. I now have lesions on my brain which causes me to experience memory loss. Many things can become a complete and utter blur. Due to treatment I now struggle with the side effect of avascular necrosis in multiple parts of my body. In 2021, I received a double hip replacement as my hips has essentially collapsed. The same thing happened in my wrist and in 2022 I had a surgery on it to remove the lunate bone.
The effects of cancer last forever, there are haunting memories, fears and struggles that linger and pop up from time to time. The side effects are simple cruel.
Thank you Ruby for sharing your story with us, you are strong and inspirational!
We hope sharing your story can give others hope, and know that even with limitations, Pilates can be apart of anybody's recovery and road to more mobility and improved mental health. We love you Ruby! xx Pilates Haus Team