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Beautifully Brave

As I gathered statements of thanks from our friends, other staff members and customers, I learned of a very moving story and one that I feel compelled to share.

Pam Kasper, owner of Gymnastics Plus Manhattan, share that she is thankful  for her friend and business partner. This is awesome, I thought before I read on into Pam’s email. As I continued I was captivated by Pam’s thoughts about her friend.

Jeryka is Pam’s business partner. She is 26 years old and is a first-time gym owner. Pam and Jeryka became co-owners of their gym at the beginning of 2013.

About 18 months ago, Jeryka learned that she had bladder cancer. Her life changed as she underwent bladder surgery to remove the original tumor and then brain surgery to remove lesions as the cancer had migrated to her brain. She has also learned that there are spots on her liver and lungs.

For Pam, Jeryka’s mindset is an inspiration and proof of her courage. While going through her third series of chemo, she lost most of her hair. Her response was “I know it’s working!”

She is constant in her bravery in the face of her condition. “She’s the most positive person I’ve ever met,” notes Pam. “I’m so thankful that I have been able to be her friend throughout her struggle. Others think their world is falling apart, yet Jeryka – with all of her struggles, challenges and obstacles – moves forward, always, doing what she needs to do and doing it with a positive attitude and smile. I’m thankful to know her.”

Oh – and in the midst of all of this, Jeryka has been planning her wedding. On November 23rd she walked down the aisle to join the love of her life in a beautiful ceremony filled with joy. Even with all the tests, scans, procedures and surgeries, Jeryka remains upbeat. She’s an amazing person, a role model to many, many girls at Gymnastics Plus Manhattan, and a constant inspiration to her business partner. And – through this post – hopefully an inspiration to us all.


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