Board Member Spotlight: Michelle Hunter

The reality of living in a world touched by cancer is a paradox of extremes. On one hand, the battle with the disease and the aftermath of treatment are fraught with difficulty, fear, and isolation. Yet, cancer also possesses a powerful unifying force. Whether you’re a survivor or someone closely impacted by the disease, hearing another’s diagnosis ignites an instinctual desire to offer support, born from a shared understanding of the journey ahead.

This very idea led Michelle Hunter to join the board of directors at Survivor Fitness. Michelle is a seasoned marketing and sales professional residing in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has already contributed her expertise to numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. However, it’s her personal story with cancer that fuels her dedication to Survivor Fitness.

Finding Strength Together

With a significant history of hereditary cancer in her family, Michelle has witnessed firsthand the arduous process of regaining strength and vitality after treatment.

“I knew from my own experience that trying to regain my strength after treatment required a systematic approach and a team of encouragers,” Michelle shared. “I frequently got hurt because I wasn’t taking my limitations into account. I needed someone with a plan to help me stay safe.” 

In addition to her personal battle with cancer, Michelle walked alongside family members through diagnosis and treatment. Watching them go through similar struggles solidified her belief in the importance of community. In fact, she first learned about Survivor Fitness while her daughter was undergoing treatment at Vanderbilt.

“Meeting Aaron and hearing about his success in overcoming his own health challenges as a young college student was incredibly encouraging for both my daughter and me,” Michelle said. “His unique perspective allowed him to connect with her in a way I couldn’t.”

From Patient and Parent to Advocate and Advisor

Deeply impressed by the need for Survivor Fitness’ services and the effectiveness of the holistic approach to post-treatment recovery, Michelle knew she wanted to be involved. In 2021, as Survivor Fitness announced its expansion into Chattanooga, Michelle saw the perfect opportunity to use her expertise and passion to support a cause close to her heart. She recently joined the board of directors, bringing her personal story and valuable perspective to the table to help more cancer survivors on their post-treatment journeys.

One of the highlights of Michelle’s time on the board was attending the annual Survivor Fitness Soiree in Nashville. This event serves as a platform to celebrate the achievements of participants and the impact the organization has made.

“As a parent, it helped me to see that my daughter’s journey is not unique. Finding a community that understood and supported our experience was incredibly meaningful.” 

Despite the hardships cancer has brought to Michelle and her family, she remains grateful for the opportunity to leverage her experience to empower others. She is tremendously excited about Survivor Fitness’ continued expansion in Chattanooga and beyond.

“I believe there are so many people yearning to regain their zest for life, feeling lost and hopeless about moving forward,” she said. “The team at Survivor Fitness understands this process and is dedicated to making it easier.”

We are deeply grateful for Michelle’s perspective, expertise, and unwavering commitment to helping Survivor Fitness reach and serve more cancer survivors in Chattanooga, across Tennessee, and beyond. Her passion for connecting with others on their road to recovery is a powerful asset that will make a difference in the lives of countless cancer survivors who join our program.