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St. Louis woman finds strength in spinning after ovarian cancer diagnosis

"It’s sad of course it’s sad, but I’m alive"

ST. LOUIS — There are people all around who are able to maintain a positive attitude, even when their circumstances are not the best.

Julie Funke is one of those people. You can find her on most days inside of a quiet parking garage in Clayton.

“This is really where I spent most of my time when I was out of my house,” Julie told 5 On Your Side.

The garage is where she does her spinning.

“You just gotta work really hard to get through it,” she said.

She’s been spinning for 25 years. The physical movement brings her peace of mind.

“Mentally it was my savior,” she said.

The style of physical fitness is helping her to survive a shocking start to the new year.

“When everybody said, 'Goodbye 2020, here comes 21' and the first three days of January were, I was so sick,” she explained.

On January 8, she learned just how sick she was.

“Didn’t even think one second that I had cancer,” she said.

Funke was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. It is the 5th most-common cause of cancer death for women.

“I knew enough about it to where I knew it was the silent killer,” she said.

She is facing the cancer the same way she faces her workouts.

“OK, let’s fight it,” she said as she clapped her hands.

The people who take Julie’s spinning classes probably aren’t surprised by her attitude. She said they describe her with some strong words.

“Warrior, bad a**, strongest woman I know,” she said.

Five rounds of chemo treatments have not stopped her.

“I am just as active right now. So, I didn’t let it slow me down,” she said.

She won’t let other people bring her down either.

“I don’t need the people that are going to go,” she said. “I got a bad card and I’m just going to deal with it. I don’t even feel like I have cancer.”

Funke’s legs are in motion as she spins and even though the bike is stationary, she is moving forward.

“You cannot lay around. You cannot sit around feeling sorry for yourself,” she said.

She is up and driven by her positive attitude.

“It’s sad of course it’s sad, but I’m alive,” she said.

She’s maintaining a positive outlook about her days to come.

“I don’t feel like I’m going to die,” she said.

On Saturday, June 12 she is hosting a spin class at TruFusion in Clayton. It is for the ovarian cancer research alliance and will benefit St Louis ovarian cancer awareness. If you’d like to participate, click here.