Banner Fort Collins Medical Center

SPR 2016

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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1 5 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m S P R I N G 2 016 S P I R I T O F W O M E N ON THE MOVE Staying physically active also helps Harris keep her body as healthy as possible, she says, and she has long been a proponent of vigorous exercise. "When I graduated college and went to live on my own in Los Angeles, I realized that the college diet and dorm living was probably not my friend—I could be healthier," she says. "I started to take a lot of dance classes—it was my window into exercising more regularly. I do find a lot of enjoyment in it. I'm inspired by the teacher, the music, the group vibe of everybody trying to sweat together." Harris currently takes Zumba classes at least every other week because "it raises the heart rate and lifts the spirit," she says. "You can't help but smile when you're dancing." She also believes in changing up her exercise routines on a daily basis. "I do yoga, and I'm struggling with meditation," she says. "And I definitely do a lot of high- intensity interval training. I'm usually lifting weight and getting in strength training with the cardio—I like the two-for-one that it offers." AN ONGOING JOURNEY Harris's website, billed as a community of shared personal stories to inspire each other, is one way she plans to continue learning from her own cancer journey and giving back to fellow life travelers who've been handed "lemons" of one kind or another, she says. "It's something for patients to be able to be uplifted while they're going through whatever life challenge has knocked them down," explains Harris. "It's a collection of stories from anyone in the country who's interested in submitting their story. And it's one of my passion projects—we're still getting submissions for the website, and I read all of them." • PHOTO Y ENNY HADDAD E ntertainment news journalist Samantha Harris has spent much of her professional life listening to other people answer her questions. But the most important thing she's ever heard came from her own inner voice, she says, after she discovered a suspicious lump in her breast two years ago. "Two doctors had told me it was nothing … and said 'we'll keep an eye on it,'" says the 42-year-old former co-host of the live ABC TV show "Dancing with the Stars." "But four months later it was still there, and my inner voice was now screaming at me." Harris says she immediately scheduled an appointment with a breast cancer specialist. Even though a subsequent MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), needle biopsy and ultrasound didn't detect cancer, she and her physician decided to remove the lump, which ultimately turned out to be invasive carcinoma. After undergoing a double mastectomy in May 2014 and reconstruction a few months later, today Harris continues to be happily cancer-free and is now co-anchoring the TV show "Entertainment Tonight Weekend." She's also dedicated to sharing her cancer journey and those of others through a new website that she and her husband created,, and by telling her story whenever she can. "I didn't like the idea that there [could be] a woman out there walking around with a lump that she's not acting on," says Harris, adding that she thinks hearing about an experience like her own might have kept her from waiting four months to get her lump checked out again. "That was the impetus to share my story." CLEAN LIVING Harris explains that when her cancer was diagnosed, "I was healthier and in better shape than I had ever been in. Now I've discovered over the course of the last year and a half that there's another level of healthy. I want to make sure the products I put on my body and the food I put in are not toxic," she says. As she continues to take "little steps" toward a cleaner lifestyle, the Los Angeles wife and mom of two young daughters says she's introduced some surprising new foods to her daily diet. "Shockingly, [I've added] a lot of the healthy fats I eschewed for so long, like flaxseed oil, chia seeds, avocado, almonds, olive oil," she says. "I never ate them before, thinking they were too fatty. Now I've finally gotten rid of my sugar-laden and hydrogenated oils, and I've actually even lost a pound or two." things you might not know 1. She debuted on Broadway as Roxie Hart in the long- running musical "Chicago." 2. She once sang a duet with Wayne Newton during his live show in Las Vegas. 3. She played Mary Ann in a made-for-TV movie called "Surviving Gilligan's Island." 4. She has appeared on the covers of 11 ftness and health magazines. 5. She co-hosted NBC's "Stars Earn Stripes" reality TV show with retired four-star Gen. Wesley Clark. 6. She participated in an aerial performance with Cirque du Soleil—without a harness. 6 about Samantha Harris

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