LAKELAND, Fla. - Denise Curls is lifting weights like she does three days every week, sweating through a CrossFit routine that's tough, but nothing like what she's already been through.
CrossFit gym owner Mike Knaisch says, “To see a woman like Denise, who has been through what's she's been through, come in here day one -- where she can't even hang on a pull up bar -- to now ... You watch her doing a workout today and she's knocking out pull ups like they're nothing. It's truly an inspiration."
You see, not too long ago, Denise opted to have major surgery. “I had my genetic testing for the BRCA gene which I did test positive for. The reason I did that testing is my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 30 and my mother was then diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My mother has since passed away."
Denise decided not to wait for the killer to come to her. Although she did not have breast cancer, she had both breasts removed and then reconstructed in what they call a prophylactic mastectomy. Denise says, “I was told the chance of reducing my breast cancer risk was up to 95 percent and 90 percent reducing ovarian cancer."
Denise believes early detection is what kept her sister alive, and late detection is what resulted in the mother's death. So she's taking action for both her own health -- and the health of others -- by participating in a fundraiser called 'Barbells for Boobs.'
Money raised at CrossFit gyms across the country goes to Mammograms in Action, an organization that funds mammograms for under-insured women. “I got really excited about it because I think its really important to try and have as much of an early-detection option as they can."
Many of the CrossFit gyms held workout classes to raise money - but anyone can donate by simply going online.
The Lakeland CrossFit raised $2,500 - great for their first time out. But you can still get involved with either a donation or a request for help.
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