With Zumba® Love…

Guest Writer: Paula Imbierowicz, Breast Cancer Survivor and Zumba® Enthusiast

Zumba…such a fun word to say. And such a fun, exhilarating thing to do!

Zumba® Fitness is an “easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance-fitness party that’s moving millions of people toward joy and health.” I stumbled into a class back in 2010 and have been hooked ever since. However, Zumba is more than just a fitness class to me; it is a family of support through the good and bad. My Zumba sisters and I are there for each other in many ways. This is where my story begins.

Paula Imbierowicz (center) with Caliente for the Cure co-chairs Barbara Absher and Jenn Turek

Paula Imbierowicz (center) with Caliente for the Cure co-chairs Barbara Absher and Jenn Turek

In October 2012, I received a phone call that I never expected. My physician was on the other end of the line, calling to tell me I had Stage I breast cancer. Wow. Not many things render me speechless, but those two words – breast cancer – did.

Over the next few weeks and through many doctor appointments, we came up with a plan of attack. I chose a bilateral mastectomy, even though the cancer was only found in the right side. I wanted to be proactive and prevent this from happening again. My surgery was scheduled for December 2012. I decided to turn my negative into a positive, so I contacted some of my Zumba sisters about having an “Adios Amigos” party for my “girls” to raise money for Komen St. Louis.

Party in motion…turnout was more than I expected! I did not know most of the participants, but it didn’t matter. We were all there for one common purpose, and that was to raise awareness and money to help others and fight this disease. Throughout what I call my BC (breast cancer) detour in life, my Zumba family has been there for me, whether it’s through a note on social media, a card in the mail, or a shoulder to cry on.

A mammogram saved my life. My spots could not be felt by self-exam. I am 42 years-old and the mother of two teenage sons, and I plan to be around to watch them as they grow and experience life. Breast cancer will not get me…I will get it.

Caliente 2013My Zumba sisters and I will be dancing and celebrating at the 5th Annual Caliente for the Cure® on Friday, June 14. I have participated in this event for the past two years, but this year will be extra special. You see, I will be dancing as a survivor!

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.