“It’s about giving them the ability to better fight the disease and enjoy the best quality of life possible within the time they have. If I can help a mother who has kids live another week, so that they can have that time to spend with their family, that is what I need to do. That is what I am here for. That is what this is all about because every second matters.”

— Claudio Battaglini

Claudio Battaglini was determined to be a coach of world-class athletes. But while earning a master’s degree in kinesiology, he was asked to develop an exercise program for a woman in her early 20s who had an aggressive form of brain cancer and about six months to live. She trained with him, and with precious time, grew stronger. Her cancer disappeared. And though it returned two years later, Battaglini had made a real impact in the young woman’s life. And she had made an impact in his.

For the past decade at Carolina, Battaglini has been the driving force behind Get REAL & HEEL, a program that provides individualized exercise and psychosocial therapies to strengthen the bodies and minds of breast cancer patients.

Read the complete Carolina Story from the University Gazette

This is story number 170 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.

Battaglini is a 2015 winner of the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award. The late C. Knox Massey of Durham created the awards in 1980 to recognize “unusual, meritorious or superior contributions” by University employees. The award is supported by the Massey-Weatherspoon Fund created by three generations of Massey and Weatherspoon families.

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