Guest Writer: Tara Boland, Komen St. Louis Supporter
As a 37-year-old mother of four young children who is fighting metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, I am STILL “shaking it” in my Zumba classes. In fact, it occurred to me recently that Zumba was the one constant that has been nothing but positive in my battle since being diagnosed in May 2012.
I have attended Caliente for the Cure, Komen St. Louis’ Zumba Fitness event, two times, both as a supporter and then a survivor. Last year’s Caliente for the Cure gave me the boost I needed to begin gearing up for chemo…all the while pregnant. The encouragement I received from this event was empowering! A gym packed full of fun! Last year I continued to Zumba throughout my pregnancy, chemo and radiation. In fact, I went to Zumba the day before the delivery of my miracle baby Sam!
Why is Zumba the PERFECT exercise? Well, it is ideal for all ages and all physical fitness levels. You MUST have a desire to party, feel happy and be physically fit at the same time.
Even on my darkest days, where either emotional or physical pains are very present, I still force myself to Zumba, knowing that my spirits will be lifted. It is my happy pill. It is the time I forget about cancer and feel not only the music, but also the love of the people around me.
Please come to Caliente for the Cure on June 14 in honor of those women who have lost their battle with breast cancer, for those who are currently battling, and as a thank you for your own health. Come dance with me! I will be the one with the silly grin full of dimples, shaking it for the cure!
I believe in the power of positivity and rely on the generosity of others to continue to fund breast cancer research. I have HOPE that I will be here to raise my four children. I have FAITH that there will be a cure. I have LOVE for everyone who dances with me, accepts me as is. I have danced bald, fat and in Depends undergarments. At no point did I not FEEL THE MUSIC. Come join me as we raise money and celebrate life!
Remember, Komen St. Louis puts the money raised at Caliente and other events to work here in St. Louis AND helps fund breast cancer research. Komen-funded research grants have helped create lifesaving meds like Tamoxifen and Herceptin. Now we need a targeted chemo drug for triple-negative breast cancer, which often affects young women. Help me help Komen fund the research!
The 5th Annual Komen St. Louis Caliente for the Cure takes place on Friday, June 14, from 6-8 pm at Saint Louis University’s Simon Recreation Center. Learn more and register.