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'Give yourself a break': Vermilion cancer survivor uses yoga to heal

Katie Carp was so inspired by yoga through The Gathering Place that she left her corporate job to teach others and help them heal.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — Far too many people have been touched by cancer, but there is a place in Northeast Ohio that hopes to ease the pain and, its helped so many survivors.

For Katie Carp, her breast cancer diagnosis came as a shock.

"Eleven years ago, I was practicing Zumba, and my shoulder were sore," she recalls. "I was rubbing my sore shoulder and I felt a lump."

She made an appointment immediately with her doctor, and within hour, they wanted more tests. A biopsy later confirmed it was cancer.  

"I was 37 years old," she told us. "It's not something that you think that young people get. It opened your eyes to your perspective, to your priorities. It rearranged that.

"I worked in finance, but after being diagnosed with cancer, people come in with their problems, and you know, that didn't really sound like a problem to me."

Carp's life became getting ready for what's next—from surgery to appointments and treatment. Halfway through that treatment, she decided to try something new: yoga through The Gathering Place, a community which supports all cancer patients and their loved ones by offering free services.

"It was just breath and me, and it was like one hour out of the entire week that I didn't have to fight myself," Katie said. "It helps you live in the moment, and by living in the moment, you can let go of worrying about all of the things that happened in the past."

Katie was so inspired by yoga through The Gathering Place that she left her corporate job to teach others. Now, she says it's her duty to help heal through the power of poses.

"Give yourself a break," she responded when asked what she would tell others going through cancer battles. "You deserve to find joy even in the rough time. It's okay to find things that make you happy."

Katie credits The Gathering Place with helping her heal and find happiness along the way. The organization is hosting its annual "Race for the Place" to continue to fund the free programs for cancer survivors and their families. The event is Sunday, June 5, on National Cancer Survivors Day, and there is a 5K and 1-mile walk for all to enjoy.


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