Participant Spotlight: Chuck Klein

The fight against cancer can be all-encompassing, demanding every ounce of a patient’s strength. But the journey doesn’t end with the completion of treatment. Many cancer survivors face a new challenge: rebuilding their lives and bodies amidst the ongoing responsibilities of family and work. Isolation is a common thread amongst survivors who encounter a void where the support system during treatment once existed.

For Chuck Klein, a husband, father of four, and Principal/Founder of Impact Stewardship, this reality became all too familiar. In January 2023, Chuck received a life-altering diagnosis: stage 4 primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma.

The subsequent six months brought a grueling battle with the disease. Chuck underwent six rounds of powerful chemotherapy, leaving him incredibly weak and fatigued. Prior to his diagnosis, Chuck had always been active, and the drastic decline in his physical state was a major hurdle. His legs and joints were weakened further by the steroids prescribed during treatment. 

“By the end of round six, it was hard to walk up one or two steps,” Chuck recalled.

Taking the First Steps Toward Progress

Despite the challenges, Chuck refused to surrender to his limitations. Like many survivors, the responsibilities of life simply wouldn’t wait. He needed to get back on track, not only for himself but for his family and his work. 

“I travel for work and am constantly on the go,” Chuck explained. “My desire was to get my strength back as soon as possible to get back to work.” 

During this time, his wife learned about the Survivor Fitness program, a beacon of hope in a period of uncertainty. Chuck started in July, shortly after completing his last round of treatment.

Starting a new exercise program after such a grueling ordeal wasn’t easy. The initial steps were the most difficult. However, Chuck quickly discovered the program’s personalized approach. He appreciated the trainers’ ability to guide and support him at a pace his body could tolerate. 

“I knew I had a long way to come back, but it was a process,” says Chuck. “Every two weeks, I could tell I was reaching a new benchmark as I got stronger and further away from my last round of chemo.” 

After the 12-week program, Chuck was equipped with the information and inspiration needed to get back on his feet and gradually regain strength, leading to a much speedier recovery than anticipated.

Finding a Lifeline and a Friend

Like many participants, Chuck discovered the program provided more than just physical training; it offered camaraderie and emotional support. 

“On my own, I couldn’t have done this,” Chuck admitted frankly. 

A significant part of Chuck’s success goes to his trainer, Joe. Their connection was evident from the first session. Joe’s ability to intuitively understand Chuck’s needs, knowing when to push him and when to offer support, proved instrumental in getting him back on his feet. 

“Joe was a lifeline,” Chuck shared. “Being sick can be isolating, but the personal and social contact was an added bonus because he was knowledgeable but personal.”

He emphasizes how Joe understood his limitations and pushed him just the right amount to help Chuck build muscle strength and stamina. 

Hope and Community: A Message for Other Survivors

Chuck’s journey with Survivor Fitness transformed his life. He not only regained his physical strength but also rediscovered the power of hope and community.  Chuck offers a heartfelt message for other survivors facing a similar path: 

“Don’t let being sick isolate you and feel complacent. There are people out there who want to help.” 

If you’re a cancer survivor looking to reclaim your strength and well-being, Survivor Fitness might be the perfect first step. Learn more about our program or submit an application today!