Athletes Who Have Beaten Cancer in its Tracks!

Novlene Williams-Mills

Some would say that 2012 was not Novlene Williams-Mills year, after being diagnosed with breast cancer in June of that year, but not Novlene.

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The 3 time Olympic medalist from Jamaica was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few weeks before the 2012 London Olympics. Throwing major shade at the cancer, she ran on to win Bronze for the 4×400 meter relay at the Olympics for her country.

Few days after the award ceremony, Mills flew to the U.S. where she received a double mastectomy and an invasive follow-up surgery. By January 2013, Mills had beaten cancer in its tracks and was declared cancer free. Nine months after getting her reconstructive surgery, Novlene competed and won in the Jamaican National Championships and qualified for World Championships in Moscow. In the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Novlene went on to bring home the silver medal.

Jamaican-born Olympic sprinter showed the world that cancer and three-time bronze medalist Novlene Williams-Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer is not the end of the world.

According to her “After cancer, everything I look at, I’m like, ‘It’s a second chance for me.’ So every time I go to do something track-related, I try to give it 110 percent. Because I feel like a lot of people don’t get second chances, and I did.”

Jen Hanks

This legendry professional mountain biker has beaten cancer not just once but twice. She was first diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2011, when she was 35. Considering her age and lifestyle, doctors reassured Hanks that she has nothing to worry about. With chemotherapy and a mas

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tectomy she was declared cancer free the same year. However, in 2013, she once again discovered a lump in her armpit.  Once again she fought through it all and in 2015 she was declared cancer free once again.

To document this journey and inspire millions of other women to not give up, Hanks started a blog, Athlete Fights Cancer. Today, Hanks continues her struggles with cancer while living up to her reputation as a firebrand in the sport of mountain biking. She has recently discovered another lump in her breast but surely that won’t be able to keep her down for long.

Edna Campbell

Photo Credit: Noah Graham

Edna Campbell was one of the stars of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played with the Sacramento Monarchs as well as three other teams, but that is not all she is famous for. She attained her legendry position by continuing to play despite suffering from breast cancer.

Edna Campbell was diagnosed with breast cancer at the height of her career, in 2002. However, nothing could dampen her passion for the game and she reentered the court a year later while still undergoing treatment. Regarding this testing time, Edna says “I was shocked and numb, to say the least, this was a situation that had me stomped.”

Thanks to Campbell’s resilience, she kept on playing throughout her treatment and became an inspiring symbol to many survivors. She served as the WNBA’s national spokesman in its anti-cancer efforts in collaboration with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Received the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award for 2003. She finally retired in 2006. Since then, Edna has completed her nursing degree, founded Breathe and Stretch, a health restoration program for breast cancer survivors and also serves as its Program Director.

Karen Newman

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Karen Newman a triathlete who joined Team USA at age 39 was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 46. Despite this setback she kept on her training and competed in the World Championships in the midst of chemotherapy.

Today, Karen is cancer free and a huge source of inspiration for millions of patients and survivors of cancer. She shares her miraculous journey as a motivational speaker and a world-record breaking triathlete.