Lifting Barbells and Women's Spirits: Girls Gone Rx Puts Focus on Cancer Fundraising

Brielle Urciuoli

Women compete in a Girls Gone Rx competition - PHOTO BY Michael Frazier @fraziergraphix
Women compete in a Girls Gone Rx competition - PHOTO BY Michael Frazier @fraziergraphix
Fighting cancer can humble a woman with the amount of both strength and weakness it can bring. Coincidently, these are also feelings that a grueling workout can bring – the women at Girls Gone Rx, and anyone who has competed in one of their competitions, knows this firsthand.

“We wanted to do something that showcased women’s strengths and weaknesses because those are the two most important parts of battling something like cancer,” Lindsey Marcelli, founder of Girls Gone Rx, said in an interview with CURE. “You have to learn to be strong even when you’re feeling weak, but sometimes you also have to be willing to be weak and allow your team to support you.”

Girls Gone Rx sponsors all-female fitness competitions to raise money for Bright Pink, a nonprofit that focuses on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.

“Bright Pink is the only national nonprofit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women,” Marcelli said. “The organization’s mission is to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively from a young age.”

Marcelli and her husband, Kris, launched the group’s first competition in 2012, four years after Lindsey’s mother, Linda Fischer, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis came when Marcelli was on a military deployment to Iraq, so it wasn’t for a couple of weeks until Fischer was able to tell her daughter about her diagnosis.

The competitions – which now occur in the United States, Canada and Sweden – include three-person teams that are challenged to overcome some feat of physical fitness. All the workouts can be scaled to fit each woman’s athletic ability. Girls Gone Rx also hosts Lift Up Series, which is a non-sanctioned Olympic Weightlifting competition, designed so that women not only lift a barbell, but their spirits as well.

Not to mention, this year alone, Girls Gone Rx has raised more than $30,000 for Bright Pink from their United States-based competitions. Money raised in competitions that take place outside the US go toward local cancer charities in their respective countries.

“Everyone involved in the events, from judges to volunteers to vendors and athletes, are committed to the cause. This is not just another competition – it’s an energy-fueled event built on a shared belief in supporting something greater than ourselves,” Marcelli said.

“We are all about the fun, rocking pink and glitter, challenging workouts, (personal records) and tons of epic moments,” she added. “We have a lot of ladies who have never competed before and some advanced athletes. This is not just another competition, it’s an event full of energy and a belief in supporting something greater.”

Those interested in hosting or participating in a competition can visit the organization’s website:

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