Cici Frye has been a CrossFit Central athlete and competitor since 2011. She has always been a consistent and great athlete and has taken on many local competitions. When she saw a post about CrossFit Central’s involvement in this year’s Dam That Cancer, she knew she had to get involved. Cici shared her personal experience with cancer and why she and Family Heritage decided to get involved in supporting CrossFit Central’s 2014 Dam That Cancer team.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I played sports all my life. My Dad always wanted a boy and I was his first born so I took that role! My first sport was football and my Dad was my coach. I had a very go-getter, aggressive, always wanting to be the best attitude and I think sports puts people in that mentality.
I went to school at Austin Montessori and then my parents put me in a Magnet program at LBJ High School. That’s where I started getting into the realm of science and math. I went to UT with a biochemistry major. After that I wanted to get into research and at first it was a lot of organic chemistry. About my Freshman/Sophomore year we had to get mandatory physicals and when I went, I was in, what I thought was, the best shape of my life. I was running long distance so I was pretty small, eating a ton and I always felt really great. I went in and had my annual woman’s check up and I got a call from my Doctor asking me to come back in, they wanted to redo some blood samples. After the results came in, I got the call from the nurse telling me that the Doctor needed to talk to me. When you get that call you know it’s something a little more serious. I went in and that’s when they told me that my white blood cells were extremely out of balance and I had precursor cancer cells. After my CT and MRI, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer.
At that point I knew I still wanted to go to school. I didn’t want to quit. I wanted to find the fastest way to get through it while not taking too much time off from school and still being able to work. I started doing some research on what holistic routes I could take, I had stumbled upon the Gerson Theory, basically healing your body with food and eliminating any type of pharmaceutical route or chemo. I eliminated all meat from my diet and juiced. I still ended up getting chemotherapy treatments, but went from a 6 month stint of treatment to a 3 month stint of treatment. I was in a remission state, but had to check in every 3-6 months. I had a lot of side effects, chronic fatigue, really weak.
How did you feel mentally and emotionally after you were diagnosed?
I was definitely not normal. For my entire life my emotional standing on anything that’s not great or could be better – I always kept it inside. So when I found out that I would have to go through that treatment, I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t want to be labeled as someone who was sick and needing a handout and treat me any differently than someone else. I didn’t want the diagnosis to be the crutch to work less and not study as hard because I was sick. So I still continued all of my school hours and I still worked, I would just go to MD Anderson at the end of the week to get some treatments.
How did you feel once you told your parents?
It’s amazing, as much as you think you’re strong enough to take things on on your own, and you will be fine and you can handle anything that is given your way – it is so different when you have a foundation of support constantly checking to see if you need anything. And you may not need anything, but that reassurance that someone is willing and wanting to make sure you’re doing okay, that is an amazing feeling. I know that if I could take anything back it would be to be more open about my situation. If I could go back I would definitely be more apart of groups that all go through the same things, because I probably wouldn’t have felt so alone, or that I had to work extra hard to seem okay and like I wasn’t sick.
How did you get started with Family Heritage and what attracted you to that company?
Family Heritage found me online and wanted me to come in to their corporate interview and I met the CEO. I was a little shocked, I thought it would be medical but it was all sales. I had never been in sales – other than selling girl scout cookies. I took a leap of faith. After seeing what the product was and what I had personally gone through, I knew that if I had something like Family Heritage put in place I would have not been $7,000 to $8,000 in debt. And I had insurance! Even if you have the best insurance, you’ll typically have to pay out of pocket when you go through something like this. The fact that it is for anybody and everybody, is super inexpensive and that it gives all of your premium back if nothing happens to you – it is almost like a peace of mind savings plan. I am so glad it was put in my path. There is a reason that I had cancer, there is a reason I found Family Heritage and there is a reason why I’m at where I am now. My conviction for this product and what it does for people is so strong because of what I went through.
Why did you and Family Heritage decide to get involved with CrossFit Central’s Dam That Cancer team this year?
Our company works with a ton of non profits like St. Judes and Walk of Life and every month we donate toward a cause. When I saw Dam That Cancer, what jumped out to me was not only that it helps people going through cancer but that it also helps their family members. That’s when I reached out to Lisa to see how the company and I could help support the cause. We are very excited to be involved and support the team this year!
About Family Heritage: Founded in 1989, the company specializes in life insurance and cancer, heart disease and stroke and accident insurance products that provide benefits beyond traditional health insurance, allowing individuals and families to focus on the patient, not the process. The recipient of numerous awards and honors for outstanding customer service and community outreach, Family Heritage proudly serves over 250,000 American families and supports Sales Professionals across the country. Learn More
Mark your calendars for Dam That Cancer on Monday, June 9th! The community will be getting together at the after party at Hula Hut! Details