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How SNFC Ambassador Clea Sackville Survived Stage 4 Cancer, and Worked Out During Chemo

Clea Sackville has been a long-time member of Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Club. She started out working at the Kitsilano Fitness World, and she now works out at our Coquitlam Fitness World.

Clea had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Classic Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2015, and started chemotherapy treatments in September of that year. After going through chemo once, every two weeks for six months (that's six rounds, or 12 sessions total!) she went into remission. 

Today, her focus is on continuing to grow her strength, both mental and physical, and her hair, of course! We couldn't be happier to have her as one of our SNFC Ambassadors!

We asked Clea the following questions:

How active were you before getting diagnosed and starting Chemo?

I was pretty active in the gym leading up to my diagnosis, although in the few months before that had decreased a bit due to lack of energy. But I was working out about 4-5 times per week.

Did you train through chemo or did you stop?

I trained all though chemo, partly for mental sanity and partly because I enjoyed it. I wanted to be in control of something and the gym was the one area of my life where I felt I could control what my body did and how it performed.


Do you feel as if exercising helped you through treatment? (Did it ease side effects, or did it make them worse?)

It definitely did! I noticed as I paid more attention to the workouts and my diet, I began to gain strength and energy through chemo (which is virtually unheard of). I noticed as my body got stronger in the gym, treatment became easier, and I recovered faster from treatments.

Were you ever too tired to go to the gym?

I would get tired for sure, there were some days I didn’t go. But for the most part, I tried to get out and do something each day. Although sometimes it’s important just to rest, too!


What would you say to someone who wants to workout during treatment?

Do it! Be careful if you have surgeries, and don’t flat out ignore your doctors if they tell you not to, but overall, go for it! I firmly believe being active helps your body heal and it will definitely help your mind!


Can you give an example of a workout you did while undergoing treatment?

Here is a sample of a leg workout I did while in treatment:

  • Sumo squat: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Leg Press: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Hamstring Curl: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Leg Extension: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • DB Squat: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Step ups: 3 sets x 15 reps

Thank you to Clea for opening up about her exercise throughout her chemotherapy. We hope that it helps dispell the myth that working out during chemo is not possible. Clea is an inspiration to us all!