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Moving in Harmony: Feeling Good in Body and Mind

Moving in Harmony: Feeling Good in Body and Mind

ikono - Our Muses - Anne

Cancer Researcher at Institut Bordet

Moving in Harmony: Feeling Good in Body and Mind

My name is Anne, I'm 64 years old and I work as a researcher at the Jules Bordet Institute.

I am passionate about my profession. Even though my activities at the Institute are primarily focused on fundamental research, I have interacted with clinicians, patients, caregivers, etc., for many years. I've observed the evolution of patient care in the field of oncology over the years. I've always been interested in the benefits of physical activity for health, especially for those diagnosed with cancer. Sports have been an integral part of my life as far back as I can remember, with a particular fondness for outdoor activities, running, mountain biking, open water swimming.

More recently, I've developed a passion for cross-fit. Beyond the purely sporting aspect, physical activity releases inner strength and serenity that radiate into all facets of life – be it professional, familial, or personal. After years of skepticism from the medical community, it's now proven that physical activity significantly reduces cancer-related fatigue and improves the quality of life during and after the illness. It boosts the immune system and markedly decreases the likelihood of a relapse. Yes, it seems obvious, but in practice, it's not.

My world came to a halt at the end of August 2021 when my eldest daughter, Odile, then 32, was diagnosed with both colorectal and breast cancer. As a researcher and mother, I shared with her and the medical team all the steps of the long and intense double treatment she underwent. Along the way, reaching the end of the "traditional" treatment, we were fortunate to express our wish to not just stop there but to take charge of post-treatment, supported by a cutting-edge medical team.

Odile was introduced to innovative "survivorship" projects, including a focus on sports activities.

A year post-surgeries and a few months after completing her chemotherapy, she ran the 20 km of Brussels, trained by physiotherapists from the Institute, despite never having run before. Today, she swims laps in an ikonō swimsuit.

Meeting Claire was a true hit, for both her and me. The motivation sparked by her line of colorful and feminine swimsuits, tailored for women who've undergone surgeries, the desire to reclaim one's image, rediscover femininity, embrace an active body, and envision a different future...

Throughout this unexpected journey, I've been fortunate to meet some truly remarkable people. This experience has not only reinforced my belief that movement is happiness but also confirmed the importance of promoting this lifestyle, this philosophy of life, to those in pain.

The human body has untapped resources. We must harness them. Whether one's inclination is towards gentle, light activities or more vigorous physical exertions, everyone has their preference. Moving in harmony is a way to regain confidence in this world, to achieve things once believed impossible before illness. To rediscover carefreeness and joy.

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