News: Third Army hosts Zumba Fitness for Breast Cancer Awareness
Story by Staff Sgt. Rauel Tirado
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – More than 200 service members and civilians participated in a Zumba Fitness event here Oct. 28, in support of the Party in Pink Movement to raise awareness of breast cancer.
October has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease by educating the public about early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and support for survivors. Various events throughout the world are held to help raise awareness.
“Last year, Zumba Fitness teamed up with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity organization to help end breast cancer through the Party in Pink Movement,” said Master Sgt. Frank Newson, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) safety non-commissioned officer in charge and a certified Zumba Fitness instructor.
This is the first time the Party in Pink Movement event was held here, said Newson, the event coordinator and Naperville, Ill., native.
“This Zumba Fitness event is a blast!” said Newson. “It’s a great way to get people together to have fun and exercise for an important cause.”
The first 100 people to register received a free black T-shirt that read "Show your Zumba Love" in pink letters and a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon.
For a couple of soldiers, it was a special moment to reflect on how devastating the disease can be when it strikes close to home.
Master Sgt. Maria Rawlings, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), civil planning team non-commissioned officer in charge, lost her only sister, Allison Leach, to breast cancer May 14, 2003.
“This event means a lot to me,” said Rawlings, a Fort Meade, Md., native. “I support any event with the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness in honor of my sister and I was touched by all the people who came out tonight for this special occasion.”
For Master Sgt. Sheila Marshall, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), support operations non-commissioned officer in charge, breast cancer nearly took a love one’s life.
Marshall’s mother, Mary Lewis, is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with the deadly disease in 2003, at the age of 65.
“When I first heard of this event, I had to come out to support it,” said Marshall, a St. Pauls, N.C., native. “It’s a great way to draw awareness to people who are not familiar with the disease. During a deployment, people who have loved ones at home with breast cancer can find it to be difficult at times and this event brings others together to share their experiences.”
Both Marshall and Rawlings urge every female over the age of 40 to get checked for breast cancer and for women under 40 it’s never too early to start your check-ups.
Third Army’s hosting of the Zumba Fitness event for breast cancer awareness provides soldiers education on the disease and reinforces the value of healthy living for being ready tonight and prepared for tomorrow.