Two local women are throwing punches in boxing class, but that’s after taking on the fight of their lives. Both are breast cancer survivors who learned a lot through the process.
Erin Parker-Samlock is a breast cancer survivor of one year and her sister in pink, Linda Holland, is a six-year survivor. “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster,” says Parker-Samlock. I was diagnosed almost two years ago; it was Christmas, two years ago.”
A teary-eyed Holland remembers her diagnosis clearly, as well, “it was… 2011 and it still kind of gets to me… hit the floor for sure”.
Though their experiences are unique, these women are side-by-side finding inner strength and leaning on one another. “Just to be able to talk about our experiences and lean against each other and see how far she’s come and what she’s doing here… it’s been great camaraderie,” says Erin. “You cannot get through it without the emotional support.”
Nowadays, Erin isn’t pulling any punches. She says cancer put life into perspective. She says it “makes you realize how strong you really are and you think life is tough before you go through something like this and it’s really not”.
At this point in time, the focus is on getting stronger and maintaining their health; physically and emotionally. After everything these ladies have been through, they say they can certainly handle this… especially after giving cancer the ol’ one-two punch. Linda says, “I’m like, ‘no, I can’t do this anymore… the weight gain and everything else,’ now I’m down ten pounds and doing really good”.
Erin understands that struggle. “Just to be able to get back and get back into shape; this has been such an emotional recovery for me. I can’t say enough about it… it’s hard. It really is… This has been life-changing, this boxing… for me anyway, just to help me get back in shape. [To] feel alive again and be strong; that’s what it’s about.”
Through a lot of blood, sweat and tears and even the so-called ‘Devil’s Juice,’ these women are stronger than ever before. Linda tells us, “now, pretty amazing… pretty amazing… It was a little bit of a rough road, but I’m feeling good now”.
Erin shares, “…I feel so much stronger now. I cannot say enough good things about it.”