Before accepting, I of course did my research, while I knew they had quality performance training gear I wanted to know about the company. What I found out made it clear that this was a great match for me.
HYLETE is a company that supports many great charities and gives 50% of the charity branded clothing sales back to that project. The charity support spoke volumes to me.
Two of these charities are dear to me, which is why I decided to share these stories with you in detail.
Back in early 2011, I had the honor of training a great group of guys (some my friends/other their teammates). Several of my colleagues and I were given the opportunity to share our passion and philosophies for Strength Training with this incredible group of guys prior to their deployment. As a former military wife I know all too well the toll a deployment takes not only on the “Operator” but also those of us back home. I also know the importance of smart training for these guys as they have to be ready to “GO” at a moments notice, so being sore from a training “beatdown” is just not an option.
Shortly after this great training week, these guys shipped out. Only to hear several months later that “EXTORTION 17” was shot down in Afghanistan. This was the last time I would see these friends. These guys were Sons, Husbands, Fathers who will forever be heroes. It was heart breaking to see my friends (their wives) experience the biggest loss of their lives and knowing their families have forever been changed.
These 31 Heroes will forever be etched in my heart and are why I support the 31 Heroes Project.
On August 6, 2011, America lost 30 military service members and one military K9 when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was downed in Afghanistan. In the wake of the unimaginable tragedy, a mission was born. 31Heroes is a group of former and current military and military spouses who support the families of fallen military heroes, as well as active duty families through a series of events around the world.
The second project that is dear to me is Breast Cancer Awareness.
In February 2, 2015, my Cousin was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Cancer is hard pill to swallow no matter who it effects but having it hit this close to home is something that I can not even begin to explain. My cousin, Ami being just two months apart in age, we grew up inseparable. This announcement was so shocking as you don’t expect this to happen to someone you love, She was healthy and fit with zero concerns leading into her first routine mammogram.
“I was numb and felt for the first time in my life I had NO control. I had missed less than a dozen days of work in 6+ years and was facing 5 surgeries, 4 months of chemo, 33 sessions of radiation, and countless doctor appointments – all starting immediately. I had two high school aged children (one of which was finishing up his senior year). This wasn’t the time to feel sorry for myself; I had things to do and kids to finish raising! I faced each day with optimism and did as much as I could physically stand to do…until…just 4 months in, I found myself fighting for my life in ICU with a very rare illness that had taken advantage of my body while my immune system was at its lowest. I only thought I had lost control with the cancer diagnosis, but being on the brink of death, I had to let go. I wasn’t allowed to return to work, but the cancer treatments and surgeries continued. It was then that I really began to take it one day at a time and learned to slow down and enjoy the little things in life. I learned to say, “No, I can’t do this or that.” ” I need to rest.” Or “I don’t feel like it today.” I learned to let other people take care of me. I learned that it isn’t all that bad to give up the title of “control freak”.
Now that I am on the other side, have grown a somewhat girlie head of hair back, and have the days to do as I wish, I’d like to think I show my loved ones just how much a really do love them very single day and that I never again stress about things I can’t really control. The effects of cancer weren’t all bad.”
During this process she was informed that she had a genetic mutation called BRCA2 and that our whole family should be tested. Several family member proceeded with testing soon including my mom, which came back with the same positive gene which meant that I had a 50% chance of a positive BRCA2 test result. After getting the insurance run around (fun self employed problem), I finally did my test and was informed in Sept of 2015 that I too was positive for this gene.
BRCA2 gene puts the carrier as a 85% chance of breast cancer and 30% of ovarian cancer, so the doctors recommended that I have a Double Mastectomy and Full Hysterectomy asap. I was shocked and went into denial out of fear of how this would affect my job and my livelihood. So after a short meltdown, I went back to life as I knew it with a over loaded work travel schedule, I just did not have time to be home on recovery!
Fast forward to 8 weeks ago – I had a cancelation in my schedule which would finally allow me to be home for more than a 3 week stint. So after seeing Ami go through her cancer and hearing news of my best friends which I will cover below, I decided it was time to do a 1 of the preventative that they doctors had recommended. October 17th, I went in for a full hysterectomy and am now in my 6th week of recovery and feeling great. I am however SO eager to be cleared to LIFT HEAVY again. 🙂 I have been transparent throughout this process in hopes that I can help other women who may be dealing with similar situations. While I opted for only the hysterectomy at this time, it is because even though the risk % is less then breast cancer, Ovarian cancer is harder to detect and when detected it is often times too late. I will continue with regular screening to be proactive on the Breast Cancer front.
NATIONAL BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION, INC.
NBCF’s mission is to help women by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services. Through their National Mammography Program, NBCF provides mammograms for women who are uninsured or cannot afford them.
And finally, the DOUBLE WAMMIE….
June 17 2016, I received a message from my Best Friend that shook my world. She informed me that she had been diagnosed with Beast Cancer. I sobbed for hours wishing I was back in Virginia to give her a huge hug and be her rock. Not that she needed me as her rock because she is the STRONGERST woman I know. She has been so positive through out this process. She just completed her Chemo last Thursday and is prepping for an upcoming surgery.
You might be thinking “What do you mean double wammie”?
Well you see…….my best friend’s world was torn upside down when she became a widow with a young child due to the “EXTORTION 17” crash that I spoke about above and NOW just a short five years later to be thrown another LIFE CHANGING event such as Cancer. Dealing with either of these situations would be hard but being hit by both is just unimaginable.
Everyone has Heroes, no two are the same. If you know someone who would benefit from these stories or would want to support these charities please share this blog. If you would like to show your support to these charities or others like them, use my code to get 40% off your first order. Remember 50% of the charity branded items go back to support each project.
Code: COACHKAREN www.hylete.com
Thank you –