Cancer survivor to share story of how physical activity kept her going at Yoga to Conquer Cancer

By Maria Georgiou

(Maria Andonovsky pictured with her family)

“What kept me so motivated? That’s an easy question, I knew my time on earth was not done. I have two teenage boys who are my inspiration and I wanted to push for them!”

These are the words from cancer survivor Maria Andonovsky, an inspirational individual who will be participating and sharing her story at the annual Yoga to Conquer Cancer event, taking place on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at Branksome Hall.

Yoga to Conquer Cancer is an event that brings hundreds of individuals together in a relaxed setting to practice yoga and meditation, while raising vital funds for Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Participants get the opportunity to fundraise for any area of cancer research, clinic, lab, fund or patient care program at The Princess Margaret. They can also dedicate their practice to a loved one.

Maria’s story starts off on a crisp fall day in September of 2017 when she felt a lump under her left breast. After receiving inconclusive results from both a scan and mammogram, Maria pushed to get a biopsy.

“I know my body and there was something wrong. It took a lot of courage to fight for myself until I had all possible results. I pushed really hard for a biopsy and I am thankful I did that because a month later I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.”

In November 2017, Maria had surgery done and it was discovered that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. Maria had to go through eight rounds of chemo therapy and 33 rounds of radiation.

“I went back to work in the middle of radiation. I had a pretty positive outlook on the whole thing. I was traumatized when I first found out, but then I realized that this can happen to anyone…it was a 10 minute pity party, then it turned into a fight!”

Maria continued to stay positive and active throughout her experience, even when she felt down from the chemotherapy. She would still go for walks, practice yoga and continue to exercise. Her strength, motivation and perseverance came from her family and a decision to continue to stay active and healthy. 

“Cancer makes you become more aware. I took all the toxicity out of my life and I became more focused, more present, took everything in moderation. My continued exercise throughout my treatments helped my mindfulness and positivity. Positivity means everything.”

Today, Maria is cancer free and participates in the community by speaking in two different support groups and sharing her inspirational story with others. 

Maria will be sharing her story this Sunday at Yoga to Conquer Cancer. For more information or to register visit