New Zealand markets open in 1 hour 3 minutes
  • NZX 50

    -28.31 (-0.24%)

    +0.0013 (+0.21%)

    -67.80 (-0.83%)
  • OIL

    -0.06 (-0.07%)
  • GOLD

    +2.40 (+0.10%)

Ashley Park didn't want cancer to 'define' her life

Ashley Park never wanted to be "defined" by cancer after battling the illness as a teenager.
The 'Emily In Paris' actress was just 15 when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and while she recovered after almost a year in hospital undergoing chemotherapy, it was being told what she could and couldn't do during her treatment which inspired the way she approaches health and wellness.
Ashley, now 31, told SHAPE magazine: "Once cancer physically left my body, I made it my mission to not let it affect my life.
"I didn't want it to define me. People were so worried about me, and I became the person that was like, 'I'm fine. Don't worry about me. I am going to go after what I want and just do it.' "
Early in her career, she would perform eight or nine shows a week on Broadway in the likes of 'Mean Girls', 'Mamma Mia!' and 'The King And I', and it taught her some important lessons.
She added: "When you're performing so much, you realise that your body is your vessel — it's your instrument. So, you have to treat it as such and really take care of it."
Ashley is focused on moving "every day", and she's tried everything including yoga, pilates, running and dancing.
However, she has accepted the need to base her fitness regime around her career commitments.
She said: "That can be hard with my filming schedule, so I've learned that to stay motivated, I have to adjust what type of physical activity can fit into my life at any given moment."
Similarly, the outlet notes that in terms of nutrition she goes for a balanced "primarily plant-forward" diet, but she is mindful of her own body.
She explained: "I am highly anemic because of what I went through with my cancer. So, I do like a nice steak every once in a while."