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Staying Strong Together

May 10, 2023

Colin Wood’s gym, F45 Training in Port Moody, saw him through the pandemic — and continued to stand strong behind him after he faced a second cancer diagnosis.

Colin Wood playing soccer in Vancouver Whitecaps jersey
Colin Wood is grateful to BC Cancer for getting him back out on the soccer pitch after a second cancer diagnosis.

“During COVID-19 you couldn’t go for dinner with friends but some gyms were still open so you could go work out. I hadn’t seen my mom in six months because she’s in Kamloops, yet I saw these people at the gym every day,” he says.

Little did Colin know that the camaraderie and support of his F45 Training family would help him find the mental and physical strength to overcome an even tougher chapter of his life.

It was in the shower after a workout in November 2020 that Colin discovered the lump in his left armpit. Having had a small cancerous mole removed in 2016, he was immediately booked in for an ultrasound where it was confirmed the melanoma had returned and spread to his lymph nodes.

Prior to his surgery to have 21 lymph nodes removed, hitting the gym every day helped Colin stay physically fit and mentally focused. And after finishing immunotherapy — a relatively new treatment that harnesses the body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells — Colin says his gym was incredibly supportive when he mentioned he was participating in Workout to Conquer Cancer. 

This May marks a year since Colin successfully finished treatment, and he’s grateful his F45 POMOLO team are once again moving every day of the month to raise help raise funds for cancer research, something he’s directly benefited from.

“Being able to go through an hour of immunotherapy that is targeted, and has had some success with melanoma, as opposed to just radiation or chemotherapy, and hoping it has a positive effect, is a game changer.”

After his cancer diagnosis, Colin is even more appreciative to be back to his active self.  “Two or three of the lymph nodes are underneath the chest muscle so you go from being able to move around fully to no movement at all, and you’ve got a drainage tube hanging out of you,” he says.

This made cooking or even showering difficult, never mind coaching his daughter’s soccer team which was in its 11th and final season at the time.  “I was used to jumping in and scrimmaging where I could with the girls. Not being able to do that during my daughter’s last year playing was really hard.”

Sure, there are days when you don’t feel like working out, says Colin. But recalling the time when he couldn’t, and the life-saving research he’s supporting, is more than enough motivation to get moving.

Workout to Conquer Cancer challenges participants from across the province to complete 30 minutes of physical activity every day in May in support of BC Cancer. Donate today or sign up to participate at workouttoconquercancer.ca