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Melanoma thriver Jody Carroll shares her journey and passion for Pilates ahead of upcoming fundraiser

Guest blog post by Jody Carroll, melanoma thriver and MRF supporter:



“I have always been a fitness enthusiast and for years was used to doing extreme workouts such as CrossFit, running half marathons, triathlons and a few obstacle races that ended with getting electrocuted just for fun! When I turned 50 in November of 2019, I decided it was time to change my exercise routine to something that was still effective yet kinder to my body.

My neighbor turned me on to Pilates, so I started going to a small studio a couple of times per week. The results were almost immediate as my flexibility increased, my joints didn’t ache, and at 50 had a better body than in my 30’s and 40’s.  Wanting to increase my Pilates practice to 4-5 days per week, I decided that Club Pilates in Perrysburg, OH was the place for me! The instructors are amazing, and the super friendly clientele all give the studio a warm and family atmosphere.

Being a natural blonde and fair skinned, I burned easily my entire life and as a child I often ended up blistering and peeling. Of course, this did not stop me from joining the tanning craze that started in the ‘90’s. At the urging of my wonderful husband, Mike, I stopped tanning several years ago, but the damage was already done.

Just after my 54th birthday on November 10, I felt a bump on my left shoulder blade that I had never felt before. It took me several days to even remember to look at it in the mirror, but once I did, I immediately knew it fit the ABCDE’s of melanoma. I called my doctor at Dermatology Associates in Perrysburg, and they were able to get me in the next day for a shave biopsy and Castle genetic testing.

The results came back as melanoma stage 1B and the doctor said it was a miracle I found it when I did, because it was an aggressive form of the disease. The results also showed that my genetic profile included an increased risk of the cancer spreading. This did not surprise me as I had a cousin who passed away from melanoma several years ago, when he was the exact age that I am today.  On November 27, I had a WLE & SLNB, where 2 lymph nodes were removed from under my left arm. I did not need ANY pre surgical testing, and the doctors and nurses both commented that my dedication to Pilates was a big reason why. They said that Pilates attributed in great part as to why I am in such good health (other than the melanoma), and that I need no medication.

I received the GREAT news on December 5, 2023 that my test results came back negative, as the cancer did not spread! If not for the support from not only my loving family and caring friends, but also from my Club Pilates family, as well as the fantastic care I received from all of my doctors and nurses, I would not be in the position I am today.

I am looking forward to a fun and fit event on Sunday, January 14th, at Club Pilates Perrysburg to raise funds in support of the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) and all the great work they do to fund research for better treatments, support newly diagnosed patients and their families and educate the public about skin cancer prevention to potentially end melanoma in our lifetime.

Remember to always check your skin, wear your sunscreen, and say your prayers.

#GetNaked- It saved my life”

To join the January 14 Club Pilates event in person or donate to the MRF through the Club Pilates CommUNITY Fundraiser, please click here.