Alice Mockovciak

My first exercise class with Laura was February 2018 at Carolina Breast Friends. After two years of ongoing treatment for Metastatic Breast cancer and with clear MRI and bone scans, I knew it was time to look into some type of exercise program.  Looking at the Carolina Breast Friends calendar, I noticed a Strength Training with Confidence class.  I remember the first class I attended, it was a small class of four other ladies.  As I started the workout,  I began to feel really embarrassed and vulnerable because I realized at that moment, on a scale of 0-10, my core and balance was literally at a level “1” and I could not keep up with what the other ladies were doing. Laura noticed my vulnerability and raw emotions and came over to me.  She  spoke words of encouragement and modified my exercises  effortlessly.  At the end of the class, some of the ladies shared their stories and encouraged me to come back to the next class. 

 In addition to the classes at CBF, Laura met with me one on one during the week to target the areas that needed strengthening and helped to build my confidence.  Needless to say, as the year progressed, my strength and confidence increased.  Laura remained very sensitive to my energy level that varied day to day due to my ongoing treatment and modified my exercises accordingly.  In October of that year, Laura and I noticed a regression in my balance, in addition to starting to feel increased levels of fatigue.  After my routine MRIs, I learned that the cancer had metastasized to my brain, which led to an operation to remove a tumor that had grown on my cerebellum, followed by chemo treatment and then whole brain radiation.  I continue to work with Laura one on one and words cannot express my gratitude for her  and the ladies at CBF for their encouragement throughout my journey

Rita Horton

I have been in Laura’s strength training class for 18 months. Our class is made up of breast cancer patients going through treatment and those that have finished. Each step of the journey brings side effects that we work on with her strength training. She spends time working with each of us individually and as a group. She notices if we are struggling with an exercise and modifies it to our body. Laura has volunteered her time to help us get our strength back after traumatic surgeries and emotional setbacks, because she has experienced this first hand. Our group started as strangers but ended up as family. She taught us we are all in this together to help one another. Her passion for getting healthy and strong has motivated and touched our special group. I am so grateful to have her in my life.

Brook Murray

I joined a fitness class with a group of remarkable women of all ages and body types. Our instructor Laura is extremely knowledgeable, caring, compassionate, and understands the cancer journey. After going through cancer treatment my body had changed significantly and felt like I had aged. Laura identified my fitness level and worked to build my strength up through a slow, focused approach. Today my body is stronger and more normal again. I am so thankful my cancer journey led me to Laura and hope yours does too

Ann Nelson

Since joining Laura's Strength Training with Confidence classes at Carolina Breast Friends a year ago, I have been amazed at the number of exercises learned that I actually can do now, but never would have tried before starting this class. Her class is designed to work with Breast Cancer survivors pre or post surgery, treatment, and/or dealing with side effects from treatments. I have been very impressed by Laura's desire to listen and learn about each of us and our story. Additionally, Laura has researched my unique orthopedic challenges before showing me what else I can do to be stronger. Laura studies each one of us doing a movement and notices right away if something is off and immediately offers an alternative movement.
She genuinely cares about each one of us and what is going on in our lives which also means a lot. Strength Training with Confidence continues to improve my balance, posture, core, strength, stretching methods, confidence, energy to cope with side effects, and my overall health has improved far faster.

Adrienne Dohn

Laura is exceptionally knowledgeable and skilled in assessing where each person is and adjusts the program to meet there individual needs.  I was so far behind the others in class when I started, but in this class it was so acceptable to begin where I was that it motivated me!  It is amazing the way she has built a culture of acceptance and support from class participants.

After a few month in her strength training class, I am able to do things that I have not been able to do in over 10 years, like get down and back up from the floor and get up out of a chair without struggling!  People have noticed the improvement in my movements and I have gained so much confidence.  A few months of her strength tainting class has changed my life!  My cancer journey brought some unexpected blessings, the biggest one being access to Laura's Strength Training class which has improved my fitness and health.

Susie Williams

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2018 and my treatment included a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Several months prior to my diagnosis we dropped our traditional insurance due to exorbitant pricing and joined a “health sharing” plan. Dealing with the emotional stress of cancer along with the financial stress of wondering if the bills would be ’shared' was A LOT! 

I was anxious to head back to the gym after getting permission from my doctor to resume normal activities. However, I quickly realized my new body had limitations, and I could no longer do the  things I could do before. I decided to look for alternative fitness options and was thrilled to learn the Pink House offers free Strength Training classes. I could not have afforded a Personal Trainer so meeting Laura and having access to her training and expertise was a huge blessing!

I am honored to serve on the board of CANcer-VIVE Fitness and look forward to the day we have our own studio and can offer free exercise classes to cancer fighters & survivors throughout Charlotte!

Tami Griffith

One day after my 60th birthday in February of 2019 I had a lumpectomy. I had told myself I was not going to let cancer treatment get in the way of my fitness lifestyle as a casual but consistent road cyclist. My surgeon cleared me to get back on my bike 10 days after surgery and I did! The next step in treatment was 20 weeks of chemotherapy infusions. I quickly realized that this was going to require more from my body than originally anticipated. It was then that I decided to check out Strength Training with Confidence at Carolina Breast Friends’ Pink House. It was there in early March that I met Laura who is an Exercise Specialist and Breast Cancer Recovery Bosu Specialist as well a breast cancer survivor. She immediately queried where I was in my breast cancer treatment plan, which was post-surgery and 10 days before I would have my port installed. Each time I attended class she would ask how I was feeling and if there were any physical changes to be considered. She then tailored my training specifically to me even though there were many others in attendance. She also incorporates stretching as well as range of motion movements into my regimen.  

Laura has succeeded in her mission to make it possible for Charlotte area breast cancer survivors to exercise safely, effectively and with confidence. She has created an atmosphere among breast cancer survivors at The Pink House that encourages us to strengthen ourselves physically and emotionally. She has a passion for teaching strategies to improve wellness and wellbeing. As a triple-bonus jackpot prize she extends herself as a friend. Through Laura I’ve been blessed beyond measure.

Jen Danesis

I was diagnosed with breast cancer December 2016 and underwent a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. With an active lifestyle and two young children at home, I was eager to jump back into my normal activities. I worked with a personal trainer but quickly developed shoulder and back pain. I met Laura through the Pink House, and with Laura's help am now able to exercise regularly and with confidence. 

Laura taught me how to ease back into strength training and fitness. She understood what my post cancer body needed and gave me the tools to safely build back the strength that I had lost. Since I was younger than a lot of breast cancer patients, Laura offered to train me one-on-one. Her help and friendship has been invaluable in my recovery.

Suzanne Cowden

I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer in 2013. The cancer had moved to my lymph system and was an aggressive strain, so treatment required two lumpectomies, six rounds of chemotherapy, a year of Herceptin and radiation. The Herceptin caused major joint pain, especially in my knees, and balance issues. I met Laura shortly after Laura relocated to Charlotte from California.

Learning and practicing a variety of strength training, stretching, and balance improving exercises with Laura has made me feel stronger and healthier and now I can easily get up off the floor after playing with my grandchildren. She has motivated me to stand taller and be more confident with my body. She genuinely cares about each person she trains and encourages us to improve all aspect of our health.