By Jonesa Rodriguez - November 14, 2022
Feb. 9, 2021, started as a regular day for Gill Gordon. An avid gymgoer, she kept her normal routine of working out, then heading to work.
Before hitting the gym shower on this particular day, Gordon jumped on the pullup bar and completed 10 full dead-hang pullups. Feeling fit, she was ready to get the rest of her day started.
Then Gordon’s phone rang. It was the hospital. Her test results were in and they needed to see her in person. A few weeks prior, she had a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI and positron emission tomography scan.
It was stage 3 breast cancer.
“I knew what was coming with the call,” Gordon said. “My reaction was, I was feeling fit, how could I have cancer?”
Over the next few months, exercising is what would keep Gordon sane.
A resident of the Cayman Islands, she started her chemotherapy treatments locally. Needing surgery and radiation, she came to Moffitt Cancer Center. Due to her home island being completely locked down due to the pandemic, Gordon’s stay in the Tampa Bay area turned long term.
To pass time during treatment and to keep a small workout routine going, Gordon kept up with her walking and jogging. During that time, she found out about Miles for Moffitt, presented by AutoNation.
“My last radiation was scheduled to finish the day before Miles for Moffitt. The run was my celebration for the end of radiation,” Gordon said.
Arriving at the event on Nov. 20, Gordon felt goosebumps. Wearing the green Miles for Moffitt survivor shirt made her emotional in ways she didn’t realize. She was being called a survivor, something she was never called before. At that moment, Gordon says she thought yes, I am.
“At the event, people came up to me and told me that my green shirt has motivated them and asked if they could run with me or take pictures with me,” Gordon said. “I was just an ordinary person but I was managing to motive others that were fit and healthy. It made me proud.”
At that moment, Gordon says she also recognized that cancer does not discriminate, as she met runners and walkers of all backgrounds.
Back home in the Cayman Islands, Gordon’s gym family made pink shirts for breast cancer awareness and sent one to her. Throughout her cancer journey, her gym had been supportive, letting her modify her workouts for her to keep going. Running with their pink shirt made Gordon feel as though her gym family was running with her.
And while Gordon still attends the gym frequently, she’s determined to get back to doing dead-hang pullups again.
For the past 17 years, Miles for Moffitt, presented by AutoNation, has raised more than $10 million supporting lifesaving cancer research at Moffitt. The funding also aids the cancer center in gaining millions in additional federal support.
Be a part of the Moffitt mission and join Gordon in downtown Tampa on Saturday, Nov. 19, for the 2022 Miles for Moffitt. For more information or to register, visit MilesforMoffitt.com.