Self reflection helps St. Louis woman better lifestyle, encourage community to help find what causes & prevents cancer

It’s never too late to make a change- is just one of Michelle Nischbach’s mottos.  For Michelle, staying fit and trim came naturally to her most of her life.  She was active, athletic, and participated in many sports when she was younger.  However, as a busy career woman, married and a mother of 2, she took a real hard look in the mirror one day and didn’t like what she saw.

Michelle Nischbach

Michelle Nischbach

“Something needed to be done,” said Michelle.  “I was very diligent.  I lost 25-30 pounds. I had to just knock it right off.”   Michelle has become a runner, just completing her third half marathon, and manages her weight to appropriate standards at all times.  “I maintain a very healthy balance of eating right and exercising.”

What prompted Michelle’s lifestyle change was the weight gain, but more importantly, she realized she wasn’t getting any younger.  She also realized she needed to be doing everything she could to avoid a diagnosis of cancer or another disease.   “No one is free from a cancer diagnosis- but you can reduce the odds if you do the right things.”

When her employer, UMB Bank, announced participation in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study- 3 (CPS-3), it caught Michelle’s attention.  “Unfortunately, you encounter people every day that have been negativity impacted by cancer,” said Michelle.   “And what is being asked of a participant in the study is very small, but can have a huge impact….it’s just about being and staying committed.”

This historic study has the potential to change the face of cancer for thousands and thousands of lives, here in St. Louis and nationwide.  Men and women between the ages of 30-65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are needed to participate in the study.  The opportunity for local residents to enroll will take place at various locations across St. Louis from April 23 to May 1.  To learn more or to sign up, visit cancerstudymo.org.

For more than 60 years, the American Cancer Society has been conducting large-scale, nationwide population studies to examine the causes of cancer and how it can be prevented.  The many results from these studies have had a tremendous impact on public health. For example,  in  2006, guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention were published which encourage individuals to maintain a healthy weight throughout life, adopt a physically active lifestyle, choose a healthy diet with more plant sources, and limit the consumption of alcohol beverages.  The American Cancer Society has since validated the effectiveness of these guidelines to see if following them really does lower risk of dying from cancer and other diseases.

Michelle’s words of encouragement “It’s never too late to make a lifestyle change. It doesn’t have to be extreme, like running marathons.  Anyone can do it- you just gotta get moving!”

American Cancer Society Honors Dave Griffith of Jefferson City with Lifetime Achievement Award

Jefferson City resident Dave Griffith was recently honored with the American Cancer Society Lifetime Achievement Award for his 22 years of dedicated volunteer service. Griffith received recognition at a reception in his honor at Madison’s Café in Jefferson City among family, friends, and fellow American Cancer Society volunteers.

Julie Gates, High Plains Vice President - Relay For Life, Dave Griffith, Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, and Craig Boring, Regional Vice President for Eastern Missouri

Lifetime Achievement awards recognize volunteers for their longstanding leadership and commitment to the fight against cancer. The award is presented annually, with honors from the six-state High Plains Division Board of Directors. Volunteers qualify for this recognition having served in three or more leadership positions with the Society and having volunteered for 15 years or longer. In addition, awardees consistently demonstrate dedication to the Society’s mission.

Griffith has been instrumental in the planning committee of the Relay For Life of Cole County as well as the Cole County American Cancer Society Board, both of which he is still serving. Griffith is also one of the founders of the local Relay event. His initial volunteer work with the Society began in 1989 with the Longest Day of Golf event. Through his 22 years volunteering with the American Cancer Society he has also been the lead for the Missouri Ambassador Constituent Team District #4, has served on the Kansas City/Northern Missouri Relay University committee, the Heartland Division Task Force, the High Plains Division Relay Advisory Team, the High Plains Division Relay For Life Marketing and Communications Task Force, and has been involved in the High Plains Division Relay Summit and the Nationwide Relay For Life Leadership Summit.

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