This year, I'm back to my multi-day walking roots and dedicating my first 3-Day as a participant to Jean. My friend Jean was a force of nature - she was incredible strong, smart, and funny and loved being with her family, friends, and pets more than anything. While Jean had faced breast cancer at a young age before, we were not prepared when she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2020 after going to the doctor for what she thought was a CrossFit injury and pain in her hip. After scans showed her cancer had returned and, this time, spread to her bones in her hip, spine, and collarbone, she underwent surgery and started new rounds of chemo and radiation.
Since this all happened during the peak of COVID, Jean and I spent a lot of time together as I masked up and drove her to and from her appointments to keep her safe. We listened to and sang along to her favorite bands, stopped at her favorite Dunkin Donuts or got cookies for a treat when she got home, and made sure to get her dog Hagrid out for his daily walks while she was stuck indoors. I watched as she got a little slower, a little more pale, and started to realize that this might be the only time I had left with her. One of my favorite memories - she threw a "will signing party" and got dressed up, put on makeup for the first time in months, made us cocktails, and danced around her condo while we reviewed the legal terms and signed off on everything together.
A few weeks later, she battled infections and complications after discovering her cancer had spread to her liver. I got a call on the morning of June 16, 2021 that Jean had passed overnight - just a few weeks before her 51st birthday.
We honor Jean each year through the Strong Like Jean workout, which she did with us one time before she died. The workout has all of her favorite movements and reminds us of a time when we were all in the gym together, joking around and getting stronger. May we all be strong like Jean, and give what we can to Susan G. Komen to find a cure.