Zumba for a good cause

Published 9:11 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I’ll be honest that I wasn’t always too keen on seeing pink everything around this time of year. Mostly because I feel there are better ways to support breast cancer patients and cancer research. Who knows how much of those proceeds actually go to the advertised cause?

And I always felt that other cancers deserve just as much attention as breast cancer. I may be a bit biased since my father died of pancreatic cancer nearly eight years ago. It doesn’t have an early detection test — like a mammogram — and is often more deadly to those it strikes.

But breast cancer is quite widespread, and it seems to touch everyone. It even touched my circle of friends this year. A close friend of mine was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma — a somewhat rare form of cancer, especially for someone her age. That type of breast cancer is not always visible on mammograms, and it was her vigilance that led to her diagnosis.

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My friend has battled her cancer with a courage I envy. I am not sure I could take it head on like she has, and it makes my problems seem somewhat trivial.

She chose to get a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of recurrence — a choice no woman should have to make. After chemotherapy started to thin her hair, she decided to take the clippers in her own hands before chemo had a chance to do it.

She is now rocking her shaved head and is two-thirds of the way through her chemo treatments.

She is doing well and just won a prize for a bra she decorated for a breast cancer fundraiser.

So now when I see everything pink, I think of my friend and all of the other brave women out there battling breast cancer.

I wish there were a way to erase cancer with a magic wand, but supporting local fundraisers and cancer research is as close as we can get. Locally, there are a couple of events to raise funds to help fight breast cancer.

Two Zumbathons will use the power of dance to help defeat the second leading cause of cancer death in women.

The Suffolk Family YMCA will host its event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, and organizers are asking for a $5 donation at the door. Refreshments will be provided. The event will raise awareness of breast cancer and contribute to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in New York, on Oct. 19 and 20.

“We are hoping for at least 300” at the fundraising Zumbathon, Anna Guibas, Suffolk YMCA health and wellness director, said.

Raffles will include baskets of Mary Kay cosmetics and other prizes from Thirty-One Gifts, Starbucks, and even the Suffolk Y itself, organizers said. For more information, contact Guibas at the Y at 934-9622.

The Paul D. Camp Community College Nursing Student Association will hold a Zumbathon from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin. All proceeds go to the Zumba Global Research Grant for Breast Cancer Prevention.

Tickets are $10 each at the door. Call 569-6731 for more information.