Amira Juma’s Journey

I recently met and worked with Amira Juma. During our session we discussed her journey as a fitness instructor and cancer survivor.

She was in the naval officers program, and already a fitness buff, when she began to experience symptoms of itching, loss of appetite, trouble breathing, and night sweats. After 2 misdiagnosis a CT scan on November 12, 2012 confirmed late, aggressive stage 3 cancer. She had 5 masses, each the size of an egg – one on her esophagus, one on her heart, one on her lung, and two next to her kidneys.

She was given 1 month to live.
She was accepted into Johns Hopkins where she began treatment that consisted of 4 rounds of intense chemo (6 different kinds) then 3 weeks of radiation that lasted until March 2013. Her body was so ravaged that the doctors said she would never be able to lift weights or run again.
From that moment on, she decided that was not an option and she was going to be a competitive bodybuilder.
“It has made me more determined than ever”, said Juma. “Whatever you think is impossible it’s not, go for it” she added.
She fully encourages people not to take chances when it comes to cancer.
“If someone even thinks they have a sign of cancer they need to not play games with their health and get it checked out immediately.”
She is slated to compete in her first show – Battle for Tidewater at the KROC Center in Norfolk – on October 4th, 2014.
Hair and make-up by Alyx Freund at

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