BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – This week’s Hometown Hero was diagnosed at age 14 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood. Since then, she’s worked to make sure others are staying healthy.
Samantha Skowron began treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation, at Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman. Across the street, at Pump Studio in Boardman, she found her escape in fitness.
When a job opened up as an instructor, she jumped at the chance to run a class.
“I started working here in May, and I can’t believe it’s already August,” she said. “It keeps my mind off of things, and I don’t even think about my scans, so the support here has been awesome.”
Now cancer-free, Skowron travels to Tennessee to get her yearly scan. This August, Pump Studio celebrated “Sam’s Scans,” a month-long promotion.
“She has opened up her classes to every child in the area who is a cancer child, either going through it or had cancer. She welcomes them with any classes she’s instructing,” said Ursula Shugart, the owner of Body Pump.
Shugart said she has known Skowron her whole life.
“Sam shows up every single day with a smile on her face,” she said. “She’s full of energy and the most positive person.”
Sam’s Scans was a way to give back to those who get a cancer diagnosis and feel defeated.
Christopher Colucci is one of Skowron’s students and also one of her biggest fans. He said she is accommodating to everyone who takes her class.
“She’s awesome. She modified stuff for me, ’cause there’s some stuff I can’t do, like what some adults can do,” he said.
What makes Skowron such an inspiration is her ability to motivate all ages and abilities, said friend Allisyn Mahoney.
“She was very strong through all of that. I couldn’t have done that,” Mahoney said. “She was always so positive and happy, and she;s getting so strong and fit, and I want to be like that, too.”
Skowron said part of staying positive is keeping hopeful.
“Definitely don’t give up. If you fight, you will survive,” she said. “Just stay positive the whole time.”
Now, Skowron is heading off to Kent State University as a freshman in the school’s nursing program. With a clean bill of health, she looks forward to coming home and working out with her students on Christmas break.