Ironman Champion Amy Marsh talks about how she faced leukemia… and won!
Sara and Alyssa have an insightful conversation in this final episode of the series of WiSP IronWomen with Amy Marsh who shares her journey from professional triathlete to cancer survivor. Amy was an all-American swimmer-turned-triathlete who won four Ironman races and two other Iron-distance races in her career. In 2014, Amy was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Five rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant later, Amy recently won the overall women’s age group win at the Life Time Tri CapTex Sprint Triathlon.
Podcast length: 23′ 18″
Amy’s last pro race was in 2014 when the first symptoms of her illness were noticed:
“I kind of began feeling bad at Raleigh in 2014, I just remember lying there and I was doing some warm up runs the day before and I just could not catch my breath, I was like oh it’s probably the humidity or something, I just couldn’t breath. I don’t know how i got through that race but I actually ended up winning that race and then I flew to Flagstaff and trained for a month and that blood test done because of the high altitude we get our levels checked and everything was fine so I came back for a month and then I went out to Frankfurt and raced the Ironman there and I noticed the day or two before I left that I had some bumps on my stomach and they were pretty tender. I still raced Frankfurt, again I felt really out of breath on warm-up runs and I remember after the swim, I got out and I had to sit down to get my wetsuit off, I was so exhausted. I’ve never had to sit down in a race ever of so I kept going I pushed through and I finished 5th at that race.
My goal was to make it to Kona that year and I was right on the bubble and I knew I would have to do another race so I signed up for Calgary and I didn’t want to do it I was so tired but I knew if I wanted to go to Kona I’d have to; I’d have to race Calgary so I went up there and same thing, really tired, really out of breath on the run I couldn’t catch my breath and so I finished fifth at that race and again I was still on the bubble for Kona and I decided to go to the doctor to get checked out because I wasn’t feeling good and I remember one time looking in the mirror and being like, man, I just don’t look good…something has to be wrong. I finally went to the doctor and had my blood levels checked and my counts were low so I decided to take a few months off. I wasn’t going to Kona so I decided to take a break and see if I could recover from this. And so I went back to the doctor after a few months off and my counts were still low so they decided I need to see a hematologist so I made an appointment to see a hematologist and I had to get a bone marrow biopsy and I even did a swim workout on the day of my diagnosis…I headed to the doctor, it was actually December 23rd 2014 and I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.”
To hear other episodes of WiSP IronWomen click here
Amy’s website: http://team-marsh.com/
To find out more about Leukemia click here