The final weight-lifting session at Evoke Fitness is in the books for a group of dedicated women who have been training for their first fitness competition. "I'm so nervous, but I'm so excited!" smiles Danielle Murdock who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.

Mena Spodobalski, who owns Evoke on East Patriot Boulevard in Reno, has been training women who have battled breast cancer for years. "We're showing them that they can be confident, they can be strong and that their bodies can do more than they thought was possible." Thanks, in part, to support from Each One. Tell One. and other generous donors, Mena’s team of trainers are getting the survivors ready for the NPC Best in the West Classic this weekend when they will be stripping down to sparkling bikinis to celebrate months of hard work in the gym. "This is a very time-consuming, physically-demanding program, but it is so worth it," explains Jamie Jost who has wanted to be part of this program for more than a year. Breast Cancer 2 Bikini offers more than just a physical goal; it offers emotional healing, too, through fellowship. "That's what I take away from this. I take away 11 other women who have been through hell and back and we now have each other forever."

It is that friendship that has helped fuel one participant whose cancer returned. "I was diagnosed again about halfway through the program and I really had to think about whether or not I could continue,” shares Danielle. “But I couldn't imagine not getting on stage with these women." After chemotherapy and a bilateral mastectomy, Danielle is fighting once again. But she's not alone. "I'd say after about the sixth round of chemo I wanted to quit. I was done, I was tired and they wouldn't let me quit. I just couldn't believe in myself, and they believed in me."

Fast forward several weeks and Danielle is preparing to take center stage with her support team. Together they are stronger, more confident and taking ownership of their rocked - but resilient - bodies. "The one thing I wasn't expecting which was the greatest gift,” shares Danielle, “was just to love myself and be proud of myself and proud of my body."

If you would like to cheer on the Breast Cancer 2 Bikini competitors, the NPC Best in the West Classic is this Saturday, October 13th at the Grand Sierra Resort. The finals start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are still available at the door or online at https://www1.ticketmaster.com/npc-best-of-the-west-classic-reno-nevada-10-13-2018/event/170054FE907213F0.