BY RACHEL JONES
PHOTOGRAPH FROM LISA NICOLETTE

Fitsurvivor, by breast cancer survivor Lisa NicoletteThere’s no such thing as a “typical” cancer patient. While preparing for a body building competition, local fitness enthusiast Lisa Nicolette was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. “Many people were shocked because I was in the best shape of my life,” says Nicolette, who was also auditioning to be on the show American Gladiators. “They don’t expect someone like me to walk into the cancer center.” As she went to her radiation treatments at Allegheny General Hospital, Nicolette started writing a book. “Fitsurvivor: How to Thrive After a Life Threatening Illness” is a visual, positive eBook that motivates and inspires readers to get through any hard times. “I want them to know that regardless of their health situation, they should never let others dictate what they can and cannot do,” Nicolette explains. “It enables them to break through barriers and go beyond what they ever dreamed possible.”

Now a cancer survivor, Nicolette chose to brand her book and a line of T-shirts with a sword logo. The idea came from a similar weapon she was awarded for placing fourth in a bodybuilding competition and used as a prop in a fitness modeling photo shoot. “When you think of a sword, you think of power, warrior, battle, strength, and achievement,” Nicolette says. “It represents things that are forms of empowerment. [Trauma or illness] can be a temporary setback, but they can still move beyond and reach their goals.”

“Fitsurvivor: How to Thrive After a Life Threatening Illness,” fitsurvivor.com.
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