Cancer fighter back to smash Samson Challenge

TOUGH CUSTOMER: Having not long finished chemotherapy, Janelle Ware is now gearing up for the Lismore Samson Fitness Challenge next month.
TOUGH CUSTOMER: Having not long finished chemotherapy, Janelle Ware is now gearing up for the Lismore Samson Fitness Challenge next month. Marc Stapelberg

JANELLE Ware knows all about living life to the fullest.

Currently training for this year's Lismore Samson Fitness Challenge, and looking as fit as a fiddle, you would never guess Janelle has recently come out of gruelling chemotherapy treatment.

The Uralba resident and mother of three teenage girls was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin's lymphoma in August 2016.

"It was right through my torso, it had gone through my lungs to my spine, femur and pelvis when they found it," Janelle said.

The triathlon and fitness trainer first entered the Samson challenge in 2012, and her open women's team has taken out the winning spot ever since, until last year when the team didn't enter while Janelle was going through chemotherapy.

"This year is the comeback," she said.

Janelle said she didn't suspect anything was wrong apart from being a "bit tired and dizzy" and having a few fainting episodes.

"They scanned me and found all the tumours and I couldn't believe it," she said.

"I thought, 'Are you serious? How has this happened?' My whole life I've taught health and fitness and lived by it.

"(Cancer) doesn't discriminate."

Janelle is entering the Samson challenge this year with the knowledge she's "nowhere near capacity" but determined to support the fund-raising community event.

"I've been given a second chance and I want to get that message of inspiration out there that you can go through s**t and it doesn't have to define you or change your life," she said.

"You can help other people and come through it."

Janelle is currently in remission, and is being checked every three months.

"The Sampson challenge is made for me - it has got the strength and cardio as well," she said.

"I love the teamwork and that it's raising money for Our Kids.

"I also love winning."

Her team, Edgefit Masters Women, will be competing in the open masters.

The Samson challenge at Hepburn Park on March 3 is a four-person team event with each group put through nine gruelling challenges, including a farmers' walk with jerry cans, a prowler push, 130kg truck tyre flip, burpee challenge, two 2km runs, 1km swim, the sled plug and a crazy obstacle course.

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And Janelle's plans for after Samson? Well, she's not slowing down, with her next challenge being the compilation of a health and lifestyle cookbook which she aims to publish by the end of the year.

Topics:  cancer editors picks northern rivers community our kids samson challenge

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