Fit Feature: Holt’s Pamela LaMarsh

Pamela LaMarsh, 71, of Holt, won’t let her battle with chronic lump lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) slow her down. She’s part of Team Playmakers and makes sure to stay as active as she can.

“I need to keep moving so I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself,” she said. “The biggest challenge with CLL is the fatigue.It is so overpowering it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other.”

CLL is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow – the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made. Among the symptoms she suffers from are swelling, weight loss and fatigue.

LaMarsh said staying active certainly helps her outlook.

“I think I would still be sitting in my chair without this group,” she said. “Everyone is so encouraging. The best piece of advice my doctor gave me was to join this group. Getting out in the fresh air and moving and laughing with these women has been the best medicine.”

She said she mostly follows the Paleolithic diet, meaning she tries to eat foods presumed to have been the only foods either available or consumed by humans during the Paleolithic era. Her goal is to get stronger.

“I am trying to get the energy to do some weight training,” she said. “It is a challenge for me. I avoid the gyms because there are just too many germs. My immune system is compromised so no gyms for me. I struggle with doing a program at home.”

Her advice is simple to others who struggle with fitness: just show up. “My self-motto is ‘Get up! Makeup! Show up!’ I get up, put on my makeup and I show up for the day. No matter how bad you think things are, there is always someone who would love to be in your shoes.”

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