September 25, 2015

3 Years Cancer-Free: Meet Melissa Hughes

Post by Alex Brown

Strength. Positivity. Determination.

These are all qualities you find in obstacle course racers. They are also qualities you find in cancer survivors. Melissa Hughes knows all about that, and we want to tell you her story.

Melissa was diagnosed with melanoma cancer in July of 2012. The following month, she had surgery to remove a large tumor from her lower back.

Recovery took four months while the wound healed from the inside out. Her husband was by her side the whole time, caring for her as she recovered.

Melissa’s surgeon was able to remove the whole tumor with clean margins. Now she goes to six different doctors every six months for check-ups, and despite the high risk of the cancer returning, Melissa stays extremely positive.


“I try not to think about that [the return of cancer] though,” said Melissa. “Instead I keep myself busy living life. I always make sure to have something new and challenging scheduled to do. That is why I started Savage Race.”

Melissa recently completed her second Savage Race at our inaugural Chicago event. “My favorite part of Savage Race Chicago was being picked up literally by the CrossFit Outrival team from Kenosha. They were absolutely amazing and not only did they make my experience a million times better, I don’t know how I would have completed the race without them!”


Melissa has been living life to its fullest since beating cancer. She says, “I always make sure to take time to smell the roses and enjoy the beauty of a sunset. My advice for anyone going through cancer or any other hardship in life is try not to take it too seriously… I just try to focus on the positive and not think about cancer.”

Rather than focusing on a hardship that you’re running from, Melissa encourages others to focus on positive things to run towards. She has definitely shown that staying strong (mentally and physically), being positive, and showing great determination can help you overcome ANY obstacle in life.


Melissa, thanks so much for sharing your story with all of your fellow Savages! We’ll see ya next time!

One Response to 3 Years Cancer-Free: Meet Melissa Hughes

Proud Savage Sponsors