This was a very special photoshoot we were happy to be apart of with Donna! This was an updated headshots photoshoot that was for Donna’s business CycleBar. We have known Donna for a few years now
and have always had such a good time taking her headshots for her and her staff at the CycleBar. We asked Donna if it was alright for us to share her story on our blog, and for her to write
a little back story and she was eager to do so. Thanks so much Donna for taking the time to share with us, your story is an inspiration to us all!
It has been a pretty epic few years in my household. It starts with my father passing away from early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 67 the summer of 2014. Shortly there after my husband started feeling terrible and we struggled for six months until we found a diagnosis of neural Lyme Disease. It was a long hard road to recovery that took about two years. Just as he was weaning off his last round of antibiotics I signed a lease with my business partner to open our CycleBar business. The parcel was still dirt so we knew we had about a year before we would open. One month after signing the lease I was diagnosed with stage I invasive carcinoma breast cancer. This was very unexpected. I have no family history and have since learned I have no genes that they currently know to increase your risk of breast cancer. Most people want to know how I found out. I felt a lump. It was a Saturday morning. It was like a bad movie. By Thursday I had the news that it was cancer. My first question to my doctor was not “what does this mean for my life?” My first question was “can I keep my hair?” My second question was “can I keep my boobs?” His response was he would help me keep my life. As it turns out I kept neither my hair nor my boobs but I have a very excellent prognosis to live a full life, cancer free.
I met Kelly when we were first opening our CycleBar and needed a photographer to do head shots for my team. Kelly was fun and brought out the best in all of us. That first shoot I wore my wig. We asked Kelly to come back six months later to capture shots of new instructors, including myself, who was well enough to become certified to teach. This time I wore my very short hair and Kelly captured one of my all time favorite shots that screams “I kicked cancer’s butt!” My hair has continued to grow and I reached out to Kelly yet again. This time I was invited to her studio (amazing) and she helped me feel comfortable enough to capture some more of my favorite shots. They are now on our CycleBar GreenGate website and I am happy to have them representing me.
When I share my story I feel like I should end with some nuggets of wisdom I collected along the way. Here they are:
Take time to connect with those around you. We live in a world of devices and it is leading us to be more isolated. Don’t miss out on the experiences around you –
the good, the bad and the ugly are all worth paying attention to in order to feel human.
Take care of yourself. Food, sleep and exercise ARE important.
Don’t let excuses get in the way of what you need to do to take care of YOU. One of my goals through my treatment was to keep moving. Sometimes that meant a very slow walk around the block but
I refused to let even the excuse of chemo keep me from doing what I knew I should to heal better and faster.
Reduce stress in your life. Sometimes this means letting go of toxic relationships. This one had the biggest impact on me because I could feel all things toxic,
including negativity. I am very fortunate to have a husband, kids, family and friends that were supportive and showered me with positivity.
Thanks for letting me share my story. Come see me at CycleBar Greengate. Use the promo code CSDONNA and receive a free week of unlimited rides!
Thanks again Donna for allowing us to be a part of your photoshoot and giving us a chance to share your story! Your truly an inspiration!
We already can’t wait to see you again!