2021 Lurie Cancer Center Cancer Survivors' Celebration & Walk

Coaching Against Cancer

In loving memory of Coach Irina Polyachenko. Thank you to Coach Valery Roytman and family for sharing Coach Irina’s story.

Irina Polyachenko was a former rhythmic gymnast who devoted most of her life to gymnastics. She lived a healthy lifestyle, was physically active, and always followed a well balanced nutritional diet. Her life took a turn, however, when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Uterine Sarcoma at the young age of 59. She fought hard with high spirits for a year. She did everything she could to beat this rare disease, but unfortunately it took her life in October of 2017.

A note from Irina’s family: Regardless of how healthy a person is, there is still more space for growth in research for one of the top leading causes of deaths. We hope Irina’s story helps fund research for cancer cure.

A note from the team founder: I met Coach Irina when I first entered the world of rhythmic gymnastics as an eight-year-old. Coach Irina warmly welcomed me into her rhythmic gymnastics club, Rhythmix, in Buffalo Grove, IL. I began as a level 3 gymnast, and loved the sport immediately. Whether it was to help soothe nerves before competitions or to teach me how to correctly execute a toss, I knew I could always depend on Coach Irina. Her passing has hit me (and the team) quite hard; I hope that we can all, as a community, help support cancer research and advocate for more health awareness.

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