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Jackie Riley: A Survivor's Story

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England - Jackie Riley, RAF Lakenheath Fitness Center personal trainer and breast cancer survivor, speaks to cardio kick-boxing participants at the fitness center on Oct. 19. Participants were invited to wear pink work-out attire in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tiffany M. Deuel)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England - Jackie Riley, RAF Lakenheath Fitness Center personal trainer and breast cancer survivor, speaks to cardio kick-boxing participants at the fitness center on Oct. 19. Participants were invited to wear pink work-out attire in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tiffany M. Deuel)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Breast Cancer Awareness Month educates men and women on the importance of knowing your body and checking it often. Many people believe that leading a healthy life, riveted with rigorous workouts and well-balanced diets makes them immune to such ailments, but no amount of exercise can grant immunity from cancer and Mrs. Jackie Riley, 48th Force Support Squadron personal trainer is living proof.

Riley, a tri-athlete and marathon runner, discovered she had breast cancer three weeks after running the Cologne Half Marathon in Cologne, Germany.

"Luckily, since I know my body, I was able to find the lump," said Riley.

Although she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Riley did not let it douse her love for running.

"After the first surgery, just before treatment, I ran the JFK 50," said Riley.

The JFK 50 Mile Memorial, in honor of President John F. Kennedy, is a 50 mile trek that begins in Boonboro, Md. and ends in Williamsport, Md.

Through her dedication and determination, Jackie Riley has touched the hearts of those who know her.

"Jackie Riley is truly an inspiration to all of us that know her. She is dedicated to leading a fit and healthy lifestyle from teaching fitness classes to running marathons", said Gina Burton, group fitness instructor and personal trainer. "She is a role model in our fitness community because of her lifestyle and her drive and determination to continue on with all of her fitness goals!"

Riley still continues to lead an active lifestyle. On November 7th, she will be running in the New York City Marathon. To all the women, Mrs. Riley has this to say:

"Know what your body feels like. Check it, eat right and keep healthy. It worked for me."