Melanie (Mel) Clarke has lived her life committed to health and wellness. A high-performance athlete from a young age, a university soccer player for Dalhousie, a world traveler, head coach and programmer at a CrossFit gym, Mel never expected to receive a cancer diagnosis shortly after her first son was born.

Mel lost three grandparents to cancer, so was familiar with the toll that this disease can take, but when she first noticed a lump while breast-feeding her first-born, she told herself it must be nothing. After the lump started to change sizes and textures, her intuition told her to make an appointment to see her doctor.

After a mammogram and biopsy, Mel found out that she had a tumour that nearly covered her whole right breast. This was the beginning of her breast cancer journey. Mel was angry and overwhelmed with her diagnosis. Committed to living a healthy lifestyle and taking good care of herself her whole life – this wasn’t supposed to happen.

Mel started her treatment journey and had a mastectomy to remove her right breast and lymph nodes.

Friends and family banded together to support Mel throughout her cancer journey. Her gym started a schedule and took turns making her special anti-inflammatory meals while she was in recovery, she felt the love from her community and doesn’t know how she could have gone through this experience without them.

Mel’s experience has changed her outlook on life, she never takes a moment for granted. She is grateful for every moment she gets to spend with her family. Hear Melanie’s story in full by watching the video below!