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Local business owners waging battle on two fronts during pandemic

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 19:29:20-04

MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS — With each day that passes, we're reminded just how resilient our community is.

The proof: those businesses that continue navigating a new way to operate.

Like pretty much everywhere else these days, things look a lot different at DeCore Martial Arts and Innovative Fitness in Middleburg Heights.

"It's my life, my passion," said James DeCore.

The coronavirus has changed up how DeCore operates.

"Right away me and my wife started online training," said DeCore.

Most of their clients stuck with them.

"Not everyone can because people are losing jobs and can't afford it," said DeCore.

The move to virtual sessions has helped salvage their business for now.

"Every set back is a set up for a comeback," said Nicole DeCore.

Nicole said people don’t necessarily focus on the challenge faced.

"They'll remember how you came back from it," she said.

Nicole is hoping to rebound in a big way.

"Everything passes at some point," said DeCore.

In the weeks before dealing with the financial fallout from the coronavirus, Nicole learned she had cancer.

"I was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer on New Year's Eve. I had no signs, no symptoms, no nothing," said DeCore.

By the end of January, the mother of 18-month-old twins was going under the knife for a double mastectomy.

"Their lives don't stop, therefore I don't have much time to stop," said DeCore.

Right now, the 34-year-old is halfway through her chemo treatments.

"I'm not going to let it control my life," said DeCore, as she somehow finds the strength to juggle two children under two and maintain a business in uncertain times. "Some days I don't feel like I am a cancer patient, some days I do. I don't know what my purpose is with this, but I feel like it's to help other people."

With a family history of cancer, Nicole asked her doctor for early detection.

"Just on a hunch I went in and got a mammogram. Being an advocate for myself I probably saved my own life," said DeCore.

Nicole hopes to inspire other women to take control of their health and not be afraid to get tested.

"I'm lucky I caught my cancer early. I would be living my life with cancer not even realizing," said DeCore.

While having such a full plate has been tough, Nicole and James said their children are helping them reach the finish line.

"I don't wake up every day sunshine and rainbows," said DeCore.

After several more rounds of chemo, Nicole will start radiation every day for six weeks.

"We work together, we fight together we get through it. She's a very strong woman," said James DeCore.

Nicole said she hears that a lot from people.

"I don't see it, I just am me," said Nicole DeCore.

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