Harts of Teal, a faith-based non-profit started by two ovarian cancer survivors.


I grew up in Southern California before moving to Arizona for 12 years. July 2015, we relocated to beautiful Montana! Life was amazing! Then in October 2016, when the kids were 8 & 10, I started noticing bloating and occasional abdominal pain (that I chalked up to teaching more classes). I saw my GP who said I had a large mass and ordered a vaginal ultrasound. I got a call that I was being referred to Gyn given my family history (my mom died from ovarian cancer at the age of 54 when I was 30 years old). They had me do a CA125 cancer marker blood test and called later that day with results and said I was being referred to GYNONC since my test was highly elevated. One week later I was in the hospital having my debulking surgery. Being diagnosed at 41 was terrifying! Meeting teal sisters even younger than me breaks my heart!! It is not an easy journey and I’m on a mission to remind everyone (not just my teal sisters) that WE CAN ALL DO HARD THINGS!

Here’s a quick recap of my cancer odyssey from 2016-2021:

  • Diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer (& ileostomy placed) at the age of 41 in November 2016 followed by lots of complications affectionately known as “the shit show” to my family and close friends.
  • Breast cancer diagnosis January 2017
  • Very serious and scary allergic reaction to Taxol (chemo) January 2017
  • On oxygen and a feeding tube January-May 2017
  • WEEKLY chemo for 5 months January-May 2017
  • Bilateral mastectomy (without reconstruction) June 2017
  • NED (No Evidence of Disease) May 2017-November 2018
  • Ovarian metastasis to the brain December 2018
  • Brain Surgery at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah December 13, 2018
  • Targeted brain radiation February 2019
  • NED March 2019-March 2020
  • Vision issues started March 2020
  • MRI found 2 small spots in brain (likely causing the vision issues) August 2020
  • Targeted brain radiation (again) September 2020 (it did eliminate the spots found in August)
  • Four new metastatic spots on my brain and an extremely high probability of cancer cells in my spinal fluid January 2021
  • 2 weeks of whole brain radiation at Huntsman Cancer Institute March 2021


I love being outdoors with my husband, 2 teenage kids and our new rescue puppy! I teach a group fitness class called POUND Rockout Workout (more info and a link to find a class near you https://www.beawesomelivefit.com/fitness)

For more specifics and updates (along with cancer resources & fitness tips) you can check out my blog, https://www.beawesomelivefit.com/christines-cancer-journey

“You won’t meet a more positive person- Christine has gone through and is still going through HARD things. I have never heard her complain once. She inspires all of us and keeps living her life with a smile, even through ALL of this! Thank you Christine Finnegan Appleton for being willing to share your fight and show others that they CAN do hard things. #chooseyourhard” -Kim Airhart

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