Fighting Ovarian Cancer with Zumba


By Joel Charron

A group of Amherstburg women are taking the fight to Ovarian Cancer.

On January 29, the Ovarian Cancer Canada- Team Fischer’s Friends will be hosting a Zumbathon to help raise awareness and funds in the fights against ovarian cancer.

The Zumbathon will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with a minimum donation of $15 that is required.

Zumba is a high-energy workout that combines Latin dance and aerobatics that can be done by any age group.


Michelle Fischer (left) is honoured to be the inspiration for the Zumbathon on Jan. 29. Bonnie Dey (right) apporached Amy Williams (middle) about the idea.

The idea of the Zumbathon came when Bonnie Dey approached Amy Williams about putting together a fundraiser.

Williams’ sister Michelle Fischer is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer.

“Bonnie wanted to do something for our family,” said Williams. “She knew how much we love Zumba and after she contacted Zumba instructor Heather Morris the idea of the Zumbathon was born.”

Every year, 2,600 Canadian women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, because women are usually diagnosed at a late stage just 70 per cent of women will not survive more than five years. Currently, 17,000 women are living with ovarian cancer in Canada.

“We need to give it (ovarian cancer) a voice just as loud as breast cancer,” said Dey.

Williams and Fischer said they have been involved with the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope for two years and helped raised over $100,000 last year and according to them, no one knew about the achievement.

“It doesn’t get a lot of media attention,” said Williams. “We don’t think it’s more important than breast cancer, we think it’s as important.”

The teal ribbon is the symbol of the fight against ovarian cancer.

“We want to give the teal ribbon a voice,” stated Williams.

Currently there is no early detection screening for ovarian cancer. The only way it can be detected is through ultrasound or MRI.

“If there was a early detection test, the survival rate would be 90 per cent,” said Williams.

Dey said that if doctors would push for women to get an ultrasound like they do mammograms there could be a possibility that they could catch ovarian cancer in its early stages.

Some of the early symptoms are bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and urgent and frequent urinating.

“They could be a million other things, but it could be ovarian cancer,” said Williams. “You don’t want to overact but you definitely don’t want to under react.”

Fischer said she is honoured that she was the inspiration for the Zumbathon, who prior to the fundraiser had never met Dey.

“For her to come to Amy with this, I thought was one of the nicest things someone could ever do,” said Fischer. ‘It’s very humbling.”

Fischer said she will be attending the fundraiser but noted that her participation will depend on how her body responds to her treatment.

“If I can feel better, I will definitely part take in it because I love Zumba,” explained Fischer.

For more information or to make a donation please call Bonnie Dey at 519-551-3117 or Amy Williams at 519-736-9453 or visit their event on Facebook, Zumbathon for Ovarian Cancer- Fischer’s Friends.

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