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A Cancer Survivor’s Journey Towards Health and Happiness

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Guest Contributor: Beka Shane Denter

Sara Quiriconi’s serene demeanor and superwoman strength are what drew me to a powerful image of her on a Facebook feed. In said photo, Sara is posed in a supported handstand along a backdrop of brightly-hued blue and white boards surrounded by sand and sunshine.

On the surface, Sara radiates health. Our first email exchange, however, exposed an unexpected story of strength and survival. Like many, I learn, she arrived at this place of poise thru a series of struggles. It is these struggles, and the ongoing journey of self-reflection, that have brought Sara to her current place of purpose as an emerging talent on the Miami yoga and wellness scene.

Yoga came into Sara’s life more than a decade ago as a necessity. “At 19, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, receiving chemotherapy and radiation for 9 months.” She recalls, “The gentle movements of yoga were a welcome relief post-recovery as I struggled with PTSD.” Once recovered, she found herself not knowing how to integrate her post-cancer life back into the world. “It’s a very weird transitional space to be in, after a year of structure, support, a team of people poking, prodding and watching over you…I felt lost. Learning how to live and function in a world that I had completely different eyes for after being so diligently focused on one thing only: to overcome cancer.”

In addition to battling cancer, Sara was working thru an eating disorder. “During my cancer treatments I was still struggling with body acceptance, and though some of the priorities shifted, the eating disorder was still very present. When one would think I was 100% focused on healing, I was focused on destroying, controlling and “shaping” my body into what I wanted it to be.” A strong desire for “something better” is what she believes “lit a strong fire from within to instigate a change.”

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