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Fitness Expert Lives Through Cancer, and Now on a Mission to Help Others Through Recovery to Get Back on Track

Melbourne, Australia – WEBWIRE

Being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 30, Melbourne fitness coach Jana Marie Youssef felt like her life was at its end.

Being a really fit, healthy, positive and independent person, Youssef thought she was invincible and never thought this day would ever come.
“When I found out, it was like I was hit by a storm,” said Youssef.  “At that stage I was working as a fitness coach with my own business and also an educator at The Australian Institute of Fitness and never felt better.”

Youssef continues: “Within one month of finding a 3cm tumour on my right collar bone, I started one of the most aggressive forms of chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy. Doctors told me I had the best form of cancer anyone could get – that really annoyed me. It doesn’t matter what form it is, you feel like there is a possibility you wont wake up the next day, and the treatment is so intense, it can kill you if you don’t do the right things during the treatment. At that same moment I was told that I would look different in the next three months. I was actually okay with the physical changes that came, I lost my hair, I looked like a skeleton version of myself, suffered blood clots, mouth ulcers, constant nausea, and felt like a zombie most of the time. I wanted and needed to experience this to be where I am today.”

“During my treatment time, I was able to stay active and as healthy as I possibly could which is what helped me. Now in remission since April 2015, still active and everyday I am thankful for my health and life. I’m a really positive, strong, goal orientated, enthusiastic and determined person, and have used this experience to transform my life and want to do the same for others,” said Youssef.
She has now started a business that helps the after-cancer recovery process for those who have suffered cancer and to the families who lost someone from cancer.

“For those who have lost someone from cancer, is the most difficult thing to deal with. Recovery for them is essential too,” Youssef stated.
She suggests the following tips to help people in the recovery process;

  • Creating and visualising daily goals: People who have suffered and in recovery overcome the traumas of cancer much easier when setting up and visualising their goals.Talking to a community advocacy & education service: Aligning with an agency that will support cancer and post cancer recovery, helping them aim for financial goals.

  • Using specialised fitness and health programs: Most people benefit best by using a specialised program that best suits their recovery process for physical strength and mental focus.

  • Working on mind-set in a small group:  Working with a small group of like-minded people who have also suffered and recovering, using mindful techniques.

  • Staying physically active in a small group: For cancer sufferers in recovery staying active with other cancer sufferers shows significant changes to health and fitness.

Youssef said: “In most cases those who have suffered cancer have been instructed by their doctors not to stay active, and just stay in bed and rest. I disagree with this. If anything, it assists you with the process.”
Karen, a 58 year-old Melbourne mother of three kids, and former cancer fighter agreed: “My active recovery has helped me so much, and I’m feeling fantastic, if it wasn’t for staying physically active, I wouldn’t be where I am now, I’m very lucky.”
Jana Youssef has developed a 5 day program, whereby clients can have a holiday in Thailand and work on recovery together as a team. It helps those who have lived through cancer’s after-math, through specialised health, fitness and motivation activities.
Information about the program as well as information seminars, how to stay fit while achieving financial dreams can be found on
About Jana Youssef
Jana Youssef has 10 years industry experience in the health and fitness sector, including seven years of industry teaching and running an acupuncture and personal coaching business. Now an operations general manager at Anytime Fitness Carlton.
She also underwent six rounds of chemotherapy, and 30 days radiation to her neck to treat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2014-2015.
High resolution images and interviews available on request.


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