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Hempfield lacrosse coach has new lease on life after surviving breast cancer

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It’s a new season with a new team for Hempfield girls lacrosse coach Claudia Ovchinnikoff. She also has a new lease on life.”With two little kids and a family, you don’t expect to hear that someone has breast cancer,” her husband, Ryan Middleton, said.Ovchinnikoff’s breast cancer was discovered in March 2020. Weeks later, she had a mastectomy and then spent five months in chemo and radiation.Her senior year at Temple University, she was voted NCAA female lacrosse player of the year. She said that warrior athletic mentality was vital in her recovery.”In life, everything I do, I look at it head-on and just use it as a challenge – that it wasn’t going to beat me,” Ovchinnikoff said.She continued working out during her treatment, including biking, running and walking.She even coached her club team through the summer and fall.”That sense of normalcy helped me get through this whole process,” she said.Ovchinnikoff was extra careful with COVID-19 protocols. Her husband said the pandemic actually helped their situation by allowing them to manage their kids at home and stay isolated.Doctors have since given Ovchinnikoff a clean bill of health, so she looks at every day as a blessing.”Enjoy every day that comes to you because you’re not guaranteed your next day. Enjoy all the little things that you experience on a daily basis,” she said.Ovchinnikoff considers herself a private person but wanted to share her story in the hope that it might help others facing similar circumstances.

It’s a new season with a new team for Hempfield girls lacrosse coach Claudia Ovchinnikoff.

She also has a new lease on life.

“With two little kids and a family, you don’t expect to hear that someone has breast cancer,” her husband, Ryan Middleton, said.

Ovchinnikoff’s breast cancer was discovered in March 2020. Weeks later, she had a mastectomy and then spent five months in chemo and radiation.

Her senior year at Temple University, she was voted NCAA female lacrosse player of the year. She said that warrior athletic mentality was vital in her recovery.

“In life, everything I do, I look at it head-on and just use it as a challenge – that it wasn’t going to beat me,” Ovchinnikoff said.

She continued working out during her treatment, including biking, running and walking.

She even coached her club team through the summer and fall.

“That sense of normalcy helped me get through this whole process,” she said.

Ovchinnikoff was extra careful with COVID-19 protocols. Her husband said the pandemic actually helped their situation by allowing them to manage their kids at home and stay isolated.

Doctors have since given Ovchinnikoff a clean bill of health, so she looks at every day as a blessing.

“Enjoy every day that comes to you because you’re not guaranteed your next day. Enjoy all the little things that you experience on a daily basis,” she said.

Ovchinnikoff considers herself a private person but wanted to share her story in the hope that it might help others facing similar circumstances.

https://www.wgal.com/article/hempfield-girls-lacrosse-coach-has-new-lease-on-life-after-breast-cancer-battle/36067766

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