Jamielyn Costes does not have cancer however she knows how devastating this disease can be. Cancer took away her uncle and her cousin and that changed her forever. Four years ago, Jamielyn made a life-changing decision to fight cancer by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She quit smoking, gave up deep-dish pizza (hard to do in Chicago!) and joined TeamAICR. She ran her first 5K in San Francisco and successfully completed the race. She also raised more than $2,500 to support cancer research and education in memory of her uncle and cousin. Because of them, she wanted to accomplish three things: reduce her cancer risk, spread awareness about cancer prevention fund and also fight cancer by funding more research.
Since then, she’s remained committed to staying healthy. Inspired by AICR’s healthy recipes, she’s eating better. She recently married her longtime boyfriend who also shares her passion for being healthy and active. They have both lost loved ones to cancer. Having shared those difficult times together, they are doing all they can to reduce their cancer risk. In fact, on their wedding day they provided some healthy and delicious food options. Their caterer served one of their more popular dishes called the “Grilled Veggie Towers” which is zucchini, eggplant, and squash roasted in olive oil and salt and pepper. The couple also honored their loved ones who passed away from cancer by donating to cancer research in lieu of wedding gifts. Their contributions help in the fight against cancer and its effects on those they love.
Now, as newlyweds, Jamielyn and Bryan are determined to keep their family healthy, especially for their daughter. Jamielyn says, “Thankfully my daughter likes most fruits and veggies. The first step is we are really careful about not giving her a lot of processed foods and refined sugars regularly.” They sneak veggies into all of their daughter’s meals – including mac and cheese and smoothies, her favorites. “Lastly, I’ve been experimenting with making my own foods from scratch so it’s easier to put in the good stuff like veggie egg rolls and zucchini tater-tots.”
After having their daughter, it became easier to slip into poor eating habits again. However, Jamielyn and her husband can feel the difference when they eat badly because they feel sluggish and their allergies start acting up. Eating better becomes easier the more you do it, but she warns that it will get harder before it gets easy. Jamielyn encourages everyone to take steps to reduce their cancer risk. She says, “Taking baby steps such as cooking better, not eating out as much and getting outside for some exercise” will help make the changes less abrupt. Jamielyn and Bryan are fighting cancer in any way they can so they can spend time with their loved ones, enjoy life and watch their daughter grow up.