Sometimes when you change your life, you save your life.

Just ask Joe Fisher. He worked for years as a corporate attorney at a large law firm, where he eventually became a partner. Later, he served as president of an insurance company, but resigned in search of something different.

In November 2020, he cofounded Biân, a luxury wellness club on the Near North Side that offers Eastern and Western medicine, fitness training, nutritional coaching, and more.

Then came the tingling in his leg.

Fisher, 52, consulted a range of health experts at Biân, who urged him to get medical tests. The diagnosis: kidney cancer. Luckily, it was detected early — when it was curable. Chances are that would not have been the case, Fisher says, had he been working in insurance, traveling constantly.

“When you’re continuing to work on yourself and pay attention, the signs that your body gives you, they’re meaningful,” he says. Fisher, who lives in Lincoln Park with his wife and two kids, ages 9 and 12, underwent surgery last summer and is now cancer-free. “I feel great,” he says. “I really do.”

Apple, cheese, and tea bag
Photography: Getty Images

Do you have a daily fitness routine?

“I practice yoga, both on my own and at Biân, in group classes and with private instruction. It’s not something I had done before opening Biân. I have trained in martial arts for close to eight years now. I am a black belt in Shotokan karate. When I added yoga, it really improved my practice of martial arts.”

What’s your go-to for breakfast?

“I have an apple and cheese every morning. Particularly Honeycrisp apples, which are the best invention when it comes to apples, along with Tillamook mild cheddar. And coffee. I love coffee.”

How do you unwind at night?

“Once the kids are in bed, my wife and I have a cup of tea — mine is Tulsi Sleep, and hers is chamomile — and we talk, just rehashing the day and connecting. Plus, I stretch every night before I go to bed.”