Like some previous contributors to this newsletter, I am writing to bear witness that being fit can make a difference in your life. In my case it helped me overcome my encounter with flesh eating disease – a very rare condition that afflicts less than 150 people a year in Canada. It started out innocently enough as a small cut on my hand that was not healing. This was followed by a very high fever, severe chills and a strong pain in my right chest. When these symptoms refused to disappear I went to the hospital where I was admitted and immediately placed in the Isolation Unit. Nothing was confirmed so off to Intensive Care I went. Things got worse. My blood pressure dropped – so low that major organs began to shut down (toxic shock) and the fever was still extremely high. A parade of specialists marched through my room asking questions but all left scratching their heads. It got so bad that at one point I was given a 50/50 chance of surviving the night. Finally, the doctors got it right and figured that the cut on my hand was the entry point for Streptococcus – flesh eating disease. The bacteria had started to infect the right side of my chest so I was quickly operated on immediately to remove the diseased tissue. After that I was put on heavy doses of antibiotics and eventually discharged to a recovery ward. All this happened in one week. I lost 20 pounds of hard-earned muscle and was told I wouldn’t be back to normal for six months. I was back at Bodies by Design after two months — not six — and with the help of Christian, my personal trainer, I am on track to regain my prior level of fitness. My doctors credited my recovery mostly to my excellent state of fitness. So next time you find yourself wondering “is all this exercise stuff really necessary?” The answer is Yes. It does make a difference.