Clear Search

Crossfit Gym Gets Physical For Breast Cancer Research

By BCRF | September 18, 2018

A fitness competition organized by a Long Island City gym has raised more than $16,000 for BCRF!

When Joanna Sawyer’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly six years ago, her family was relieved the disease was caught in its early stages. Her mother, Rose Ann who had just celebrated her 60th birthday underwent surgery and was in remission for five years. However, when her health began to deteriorate, they discovered the cancer had returned and spread.

“She passed within weeks of discovering metastasis,” Joanna says.  “We were shocked because we were under the impression that her breast cancer was caught early enough that this would not occur.”

Joanna and her sister had been involved in breast cancer fundraisers since their mother was initially diagnosed. After her passing, they decided to create their own event at their local gym, Crossfit Bell, to benefit BCRF.

“After losing our mom so unexpectedly, we wanted to find an organization that focuses on breast cancer research,” Joanna says.

The sisters and their friends combined their shared passion for fitness with the ability to raise funds for the cause. Last year, together with their community, they organized a fitness competition that raised over $16,000 for BCRF in six weeks. The event not only fueled lifesaving research, but also gave others a chance to share their connections to the cause.

John Maldonado, a coach at CrossFit Bell, knows this firsthand. His aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and has experienced three recurrences since.

“Breast cancer research is important to me because nobody should have to suffer through the pain that breast cancer and its treatment can cause,” he says.

“While breast cancer is one of the most treatable cancers, the risk of the disease returning is higher than most people realize. Our fundraising team wants to change that by supporting research,” she says.

This year, Joanna and her team hope their competition will raise as much as $20,000 for the cause.

“Too many of us have lost loved ones,” she says. “Together we are motivated to do what we can to make a difference.”