Young Survival Coalition: Going for Gold Against Breast Cancer

by  | May 14, 2019 | Health and Wellness | 

For National Women’s Health Week, we’re sharing our favorite stories and resources for your best health. We’ve collected everything from partner promotions to curated wellness content to help you establish a wellness routine right for you, diet and nutrition that works for your body and practices that improve your mental and spiritual wellness.

Training for the Olympics and going through breast cancer treatment seem like they have nothing in common. But Olympic Gold Medalist, Kikkan Randall, recently told YSC they’re a lot alike. Kikkan was diagnosed with stage II invasive ductal carcinoma at age 35, just 3 months after the greatest achievement in her athletic career – a Gold Medal in cross-country skiing at the 2018 Olympics.

A Dream Realized

After a bad day derailed her Olympic medal chances in 2014, she returned 4 years later determined to soak in the entire experience. As her 18th Olympic race, she knew it would be her last. In a fairytale ending to a storied career, Kikkan and a teammate beat out their Swedish rivals by .19 seconds, securing the first gold medal in cross country skiing for the U.S.

Kikkan embarked on the next phase of her life, ready to pursue her passion for keeping girls in sports while working with the International Olympic Committee to further the Olympic Movement. She spoke widely about how anyone can use training strategies to work toward challenging goals in small, systematic ways.

Something Didn’t Feel Right

Three months after the Olympics, she celebrated a perfect Mother’s Day with her young son. While getting ready for bed, she brushed past her right breast and felt something hard. “They felt like 2 little hard peas, and I immediately knew something didn’t feel right.”

A doctor assured her she was young, healthy and active – those lumps were probably nothing. But 2 weeks later, a biopsy revealed Kikkan had stage II invasive ductal carcinoma.