Dancing toward a cure

Having two grandmothers that survived breast cancer, sisters Jessey and Renee Allen realize there’s a strong likelihood they’ll too fight breast cancer.

Party in Pink: Zumbathon

When: 9 a.m.-11 a.m., Saturday, May 16.

Where: Carrie Blake Park, 202 N. Blake Ave.

Cost: By donation

More info: Call Jessey Allen at 509-899-0374.



Having two grandmothers that survived breast cancer, sisters Jessey and Renee Allen realize there’s a strong likelihood they’ll too fight breast cancer.

Instead of fearing the possibility of being diagnosed however, Renee and Jessey look to their grandmothers as inspiration and proactive role models.

“Awareness and early detection are really important,” Jessey said. “They are probably the big reasons why our grandmothers survived.”

To honor their grandmothers, Vicki Allen and Marsha Welch, and to celebrate other cancer survivors and both raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research, Jessey and Renee are hosting a “Party in Pink” Zumbathon on Saturday, May 16, at Carrie Blake Park.

Three Zumba instructors, including Jessey, will guide those attending through two straight hours of dance. To accommodate all ages, a mix of both traditional Zumba and “Zumba Gold” (slower-paced) songs aimed at seniors have made the playlist.

“I’ve wanted to do this Zumba fundraiser for a year,” Jessey said. “I wanted to do it to give my grandma something to look forward to.”

Welch, a Sequim resident, completed radiation treatments in October and admits she’s just starting to feel like herself again.

“I think it’s wonderful they’re (Renee and Jessey) drawing attention to breast cancer and all cancer really,” Welch said.

Nearing age 80, Welch said she normally wouldn’t have gotten a mammogram, but reoccurring pain prompted her to visit her doctor. Although the pain turned out to be opposite of the side where cancer was detected, the experience confirmed in Welch the importance of getting regular mammograms – pain or not.

“There’s a lot to be thankful for,” Welch said, reminiscing on both her own and her granddaughter’s other grandmother’s successful bouts with cancer. Welch’s mother also was a 20-year cancer survivor.

Welch is unexperienced when it comes to Zumba, but plans to dance as much as she can and otherwise run the information table to help share with others the importance of early detection and awareness.

“She’s an amazing lady,” Renee Allen said in reference to Welch. “The Zumbathon is a great opportunity to both recognize our grandmothers, have fun and educate.”

All the proceeds from the Party in Pink benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The organization, dating back to 1982, was the result of Nancy Brinker’s promise to her sister, Susan Komen, dying of breast cancer, to do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.

Since, the organization has evolved into the “world’s largest nonprofit source of funding for the fight against breast cancer,” according to the organization’s website.

Within the past 33 years, the nonprofit has invested more than $2.6 billion in research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 30 countries.

Attending the upcoming Party in Pink is by donation with a $10 suggestion. It’s also recommended to wear pink and bring water.