Spinning Through Cancer
My name is Carrie Avirett, and on January 11, 2018 I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) at the age of 29. AML is a type of blood and bone marrow cancer with a five-year overall survival rate of 27.4 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. After my diagnosis my life changed in many ways, but my enthusiasm for exercise was not one of them.
Prior to getting a Peloton, I was already an avid cyclist, both on the road and in a local studio. I have a diverse background in health and wellness that includes teaching yoga, running half marathons and working for lululemon. The sweat life is part of me.
As I embarked on my cancer journey, I knew fitness was going to play a huge role in my quest to stay strong, both physically and mentally. I prepared for the greatest race of my life. Fortunately, I am extremely blessed to have a Peloton bike, and I rode every day I was home and not hospitalized.
I worked out every single day and spun my way through cancer. My family, friends, doctors and nurses all thought I was crazy at the time, but I believe that one of the reasons I recovered from my treatments so quickly was my passion for the bike. I never gave up and pushed every single day.
Over the course of the last year, I would typically get up at around 5AM and ride for a few hours before having to go in for treatment. One week, when I had chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant, I spun eight hours every day. I have been on the global leaderboard many times and usually represented one of the only actual users not riding a showroom bike. I met new friends each day, and we started following one another’s success and supporting each other’s achievements.
Peloton fortified me more than you will ever know. I am now helping to create a fitness program and center at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center to give back and help others have the option to heal through exercise.