For Lisa Riobo, working out is one of the best ways she can deal with a disease that has affected her many times over.
The Langley-based office manager was first diagnosed with basal cell skin cancer in 2011, five years before her best friend was diagnosed with and underwent surgery for breast cancer last year. At the same time, her boss grappled with prostate cancer a condition he’s now facing a second time following surgery.
With about 77,000 people facing cancer this year in British Columbia, Lisa’s situation is all too familiar to many.
It’s why she, alongside eight of her colleagues, have teamed up for Workout to Conquer Cancer a month-long challenge where participants work out every day for the month of May to raise critical funds for cancer research and care at the BC Cancer Agency. Their team Waist Management is currently the fourth most successful fundraising team in the province.
“Cancer, to me, seems like this omnipotent and omnipresent entity in my life and that makes me angry,” says Lisa.
“I think that if I can get up and workout for a half hour every morning I can get some of that anger out. I feel like I’m fighting back for people who have been affected by this and I can take that out on the weights or during a run or just by motivating people around the office to do the same.”
Workout to Conquer Cancer is an annual event that has raised over $1-million since its inception in 2010, helping fuel breakthroughs in cancer research that continue to make a tangible difference in the lives of British Columbians.
With less than four weeks to go before Workout, Lisa and her team are counting down the days and are excited for the challenge.
“It’s a great team-building exercise and we’re all going to try and compete to raise more money and see who is going to be more successful,” she says. “And with summer coming up, it’s a great way to get in shape while supporting a worthwhile cause.”
She has since created a workout schedule and a spreadsheet in preparation for the challenge, she adds, which is a good way to keep everyone accountable.
“Now, the question is - does getting out of bed count as a sit up?”