CRESTVIEW — Through determination and activity, Crestview resident Jennifer King overcame breast cancer.
"I know a lot of people get discouraged, but I didn't have that mindset," she said. "I never lost focus ... I never thought it would end badly."
After receiving six months of chemotherapy, 37 rounds of radiation treatments and a double mastectomy, King, manager of U.S. Gold Gymnastics and Cheerleading in Crestview, has been cancer-free since February.
"Working (at U.S. Gold Gymnastics) has been a blessing," she said.
The school's owner, Kathy Dwyer, hired King prior to the Crestview location's opening in 2011. Dwyer found King's perseverance during treatments inspiring.
"She is the strongest person I know," Dwyer said. "Her inner strength is incredible."
Jennifer Robinson, 14, a cheerleading student of King at U.S. Gold, said she considers King a teacher, friend and hero.
"She came in as a new coach and ... immediately noticed that my form was incorrect with my tumbling," Jennifer said. "She told me she could fix me and she did."
Although it is "all in good fun," Jennifer said King tackled and threw shoes at cheerleading students who didn’t give their best effort.
"She is hard on all of us, but she makes us all want to do better," Jennifer said.
And, the teenager said, she and classmates were amazed by how King handled her diagnosis.
"If she was ever scared, we never knew it," she said.
In addition to regularly showing up to work, King played softball weekly during her cancer treatments.
"Keeping it normal and staying focused is what you need to do," she said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.