“Never did I think I’d be showcasing health and hope in a bikini — as a grandma!” Angela Doonan beat cancer and lost 100 pounds. She talks to Carey about how she lost the weight and had a total life transformation.
Today we hear her incredible story about being a two-time cancer survivor and mother.
Angela’s daughter was born with a rare brain disorder, Joubert’s syndrome, which left her daughter, Samantha, needing total care, wheelchair bound, and non-verbal. Angela said when she had her daughter she fell in love and decided to give her the most amazing life possible. Samantha’s laughter “would light up a room. She was full of life and personality.”
During this time and at only 26 years old, Angela was diagnosed with inoperable non-Hodgkin’s
Lymphoma. Her only choice, she says, was to fight. She was a mom and that’s what she had to do. Her son was just 7 and her daughter only 4. Fighting meant Angela would be left with significant kidney issues and heart failure from the treatment, but she had kids and had to keep going.
The hardest thing Angela had to face as a parent was not being able to help Samantha when she went into complete renal failure and was given three months to live. Angela couldn’t “fix it”. It was only much later when she would realize, “We all have purpose. Our lives continually touch each other.”
Her darkest day was losing her thirteen-year-old daughter on April 2, 2006.
During this time, Angela was dealing with all the effects of chemo from her own cancer fight. She was struggling with obesity, high blood pressure, heart failure, a thyroid condition, fatty liver and other health conditions from her treatment. And she was diagnosed with cancer – for the second time.
After losing her daughter she didn’t have the desire to fight.
But when Angela closed her eyes, she would see her daughter and think, “how dare I”? She thought of Samantha and the challenges she had bravely fought for thirteen years. Angela said she would visualize and remember how much her daughter loved her.
It was her daughter’s love and encouragement that made her get up, not give up.
With failing health, Angela decided through her tears to keep going. She started by walking, then hiking, then lifting weights. She slowly became a showcase of health as a bodybuilder… as a grandma.
“Now I am healthy from the inside out.”
Angela started grazing, eating smaller meals throughout the day. She made small changes, replacing fruits and nuts for sugary sweets. She learned as she went, researching on the internet, and lost over 100 pounds. In 2014, her angiogram showed her once failing heart had actually created new natural bypasses.
Angela had learned health redemption.
She had taught herself how to eat and to move every day.
“Exercise is a powerful medicine’” says Angela. She feels strong emotionally, great physically and is blessed to be able to share her story with others. She believes everyone can be stronger, together, by sharing their stories.
Now cancer free and healthy, Angela Doonan has a powerful story to share with others about a