My name is Kasia Dukes and I have been doing CrossFit for eight months. Here is my story and how it all started. When my second child, Ellyana, was a couple weeks old, I felt a lump in my breast. I mentioned it to my doctor at a six week follow-up appointment, and after that everything went really fast. I had a mammogram and ultrasound within days, followed by a biopsy. A couple days later I got the dreaded phone call telling me I had breast cancer. I am strong enough in my faith that the news of this awful disease was not going to end my life. God gave me the strength to reassure my family and friends that everything was going to be alright. After the initial diagnosis, I was very reluctant to do chemo therapy, as I knew that it may affect me taking care of the kids and working. Then we found out that the cancer was stage 2, not stage 1 like they originally told us, and I was BRCA 1 positive. This means my cancer was genetic.
I was determined to get through chemo and still be a wife mother and teacher. I am not going to lie, it was hard. But all of this is His doing, it is not a coincidence that I had a job where I worked with Godly people that truly had my back. My journey brought me closer to Him and made me stronger in my faith. I prayed for the chemo not to make me too sick and He listened. I continued to work and take care of my children as much as I could. I also prayed for the surgeries not to be too hard on my body, and again He answered my prayers.
I will never forget during my second surgery, I was already in the OR and still conscience, and the Holy Spirits’ presence was overwhelming and I just felt so at peace. It would be very easy for someone that doesn’t know the Lord to be in my situation and just get mad at God and blame Him for everything and become bitter. But for me, there is no better love than our Fathers love and you can never be truly happy if you are not His child. I am His daughter!!!! Why wouldn’t I smile every day?! When God planned my journey, He also planned to give me a husband that would be my strength when I was too weak. I could not do life without my sweet husband!
In April 2015 I was cancer free and done with all my surgeries! I wanted to live a healthy life, but I wasn’t sure how. I have never exercised or kept a healthy diet. I knew it was time to change my lifestyle, but I also dreaded going to a gym. I’ve heard about CrossFit from a coworker, and decided to do some research. To my surprise it was more than just flipping tires. I asked my husband to take a 101 class with me. During our first WOD, I thought I was going to die! Well, I didn’t die, and I kept going back. After a couple of months I realized that I actually look forward to going to the gym! Today I feel better than ever, and I owe it to the wonderful CrossFit Madison trainers. I am not able to do most of the exercises; however I am able to enjoy my workouts and share this great experience with very motivating staff and athletes. This is what I love about CrossFit Madison – it does not matter what shape and size you are; how much you can or cannot lift; how many pull ups you can do (btw, I can do none J). …..you will be a part of a team!