For Malicia Wilson, her family’s history of cancer made her vigilant about checking for signs of this disease. She lost her younger sister to breast cancer when she was 50 years old. This inspired her to be diligent about going every six months for checkups and mammograms or breast MRIs.
On Thanksgiving Day 2021, she noticed a lump during her routine self-exams. The following week, she had an ultrasound that detected cancer in three different places. After an initial lumpectomy, Malicia decided to have a total mastectomy, which went deeper into the chest wall to remove any potential cancer on the margins. A few months later, in June of 2022, she had reconstruction surgery.
After being unable to do much physically for 6-8 months, Malicia experienced everything from changes to her body to her mood from not having hormones.
“Needless to say, my chest muscles were so weak,” Malicia said. “I wanted to feel better and learn new ways of moving.”
Finding Hope for the Future
Malicia joined Survivor Fitness at the beginning of 2023—eager to work with a personal trainer who could help her identify routines to increase her strength. Her son, who works in the medical field, introduced his mother to the program after he learned about it through a friend who worked as a trainer.
Malicia was paired with Micah McKee at Chadwick’s Fitness in Franklin, TN. Like most participants, Malicia recognized the value in learning how to start where you are and continuing to show up every single session. She improved so much that she was selected as Chadwick’s Client of the Month due to improving her strength scores.
After 12 weeks, the program helped reverse some of the physical changes from treatment. But more than that, it gave her hope for the future.
“Hope was the biggest blessing,” she said. “It made such a difference to know I could still work hard and have a body that would respond.”
Celebrating New Family Milestones
Today, Malicia feels much more comfortable with her body. She maintains an active lifestyle by working out regularly.
Malicia recognizes how much that impacts her overall self-esteem and ability to enjoy life’s most meaningful moments again, especially when celebrating with family. Earlier this year, Malicia welcomed her first grandchild—a beautiful baby girl—into the family. She also celebrated her son’s wedding in Portland, Maine, a few weeks ago. These milestone moments mean so much more to her now as a healthy and thriving cancer survivor.
She credits Survivor Fitness for helping her regain strength, teaching her new ways to work out, and giving her the personal courage to do so.
“I am amazed at all the people who are out there to help—who give their time and talents, and I am eternally grateful,” she shared. “This program definitely contributed to where I am today as a Survivor!”