CrossFit helps cancer survivor build strength, confidence

Jill Mayo works out at CrossFit Fort Wayne.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Thanksgiving is a time many of us count our blessings. This year Jill Mayo’s thankful CrossFit is helping her get a new lease on life.

Jill, now 26, was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 17 years old. Initial chemotherapy treatments worked well, but when the cancer stopped responding to the medication, Jill had to have a bone marrow transplant. She beat the cancer, but then struggled with mobility. Spending 320 days undergoing treatments without much movement in a hospital over the course of a year and a half took a toll on her body.

CrossFit, now a popular way to get in shape, isn’t just about strength and lifting a lot of weight. For Jill, it’s helping her live life. Before joining CrossFit Fort Wayne in May, Jill wasn’t able to straighten her shoulders all the way, according to her mom.

“She was starting to hump and when she was walking she was stiff legged. I was watching her mobility get worse,” said Kay Mayo, Jill’s mom.

But, after just a few months, she’s made incredible progress. CrossFit Fort Wayne owner Sophia Walsh tailored a workout just for Jill.

“It’s about meeting people where they’re at and being appropriate for every different kind of level. that’s what we do,” said Walsh. “To be able to see her move so much better now and to be able to see her do things she couldn’t do at all before and have better balance and better movement, it’s little things like that that make a big difference in normal, every day activities.”

Jill is proud of her accomplishments and is excited to continue building strength and confidence.

“[CrossFit Fort Wayne] can help you no matter what age you are. No matter what you went through our how bad you are, even if you can barely walk, they’ll help you gain it back,” Jill said.

Watch the video to see the progress Jill has made throughout the course of just a few months. 



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