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Zumbathon to support breast cancer nonprofit

Cancer survivor speaks on impact of The Beauty and The Beast Fund
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:56 AM CDT
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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WAFF) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one Jackson County woman knows the importance of that all too well...

Amber Steeley was 32 years old with two kids. The last thing she could take on was a health battle, but unfortunately, she was met with a breast cancer diagnosis that ended up taking a difficult toll in more ways than one.

“I lost a lot," Steeley says. "I lost my home and stuff and had to move in with family.”

That was only part of the difficulty Steeley faced when the fear she had held on to for months started becoming reality.

“I had found a lump, and I put it off for almost a year" she says. "I was terrified of it.”

When the lump started becoming painful, Steeley knew she couldn’t wait any longer and found herself at the MMI in Scottsboro.

“Sure enough, results come back, and it was as clear as day," she says. "It was stage 3 breast cancer.”

In Jackson County, however, women don’t have much access to breast cancer treatment.

“They’re either going to Huntsville, some of them end up going to Fort Payne," says Leslie Phillips, owner of Dare to Dream Services. "You can imagine having to travel anywhere from 80 to 100 miles per day, 3 to 5 days a week for treatment, how costly that can be.”

That’s where The Beauty and The Beast Fund of Jackson County comes in. The local nonprofit helps those in the area battling breast cancer by providing financial assistance however needed.

“It either helped pay for gas, parking for the parking garages, or food, groceries, meals…" Steeley says. "They flat out told me I didn’t have restraints on what I used it toward, to use it for what I needed.”

On October 24, organizers will host a zumbathon at the Scottsboro Rec*Com from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. to raise money for The Beauty and The Beast Fund. It’s $10 at the door, and you do need to wear a mask when walking in, but it can be taken off once you’re in your spot to dance.

“If you cannot dance, this is the class for you," says Phillips. "If you can dance, this is the class for you.”

That means anyone willing to support those right here in Alabama facing the fight of their lives can come enjoy some fun dancing, food and giveaway prizes from sponsors, all while helping women like Amber.

“To be able to have that income without begging or asking for a fundraiser, donations or anything like that, it was the biggest blessing.”

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