Zumbathon raises money for instructor fighting breast cancer - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Zumbathon raises money for instructor fighting breast cancer

Saturday's Zumbathon is an effort to raise money for a former Albany Zumba instructor. (Source: WALB) Saturday's Zumbathon is an effort to raise money for a former Albany Zumba instructor. (Source: WALB)
Charlene Schultz was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. (Source: WALB) Charlene Schultz was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. (Source: WALB)
Charlene Schultz (Source: WALB) Charlene Schultz (Source: WALB)
Vicky Leister (Source: WALB) Vicky Leister (Source: WALB)
Alexandria Hobbs (Source: WALB) Alexandria Hobbs (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Zumba is going pink this weekend in Albany.

Albany native Charlene Schultz was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, After a double mastectomy, she thought she had beat cancer for good.

"The funny thing is that the three years in between I thought that everything was good," Schultz said. "I genuinely thought that I kicked cancer's butt."

In July, a biopsy revealed cancer was back for round two. "The day that it came back was very scary," she said.

A scary moment not only for Schultz but also for her fellow Zumba instructors. 

"I was almost crying and I was like I can not believe this is happening again," Vicky Leister said, who runs Zumba classes at Studio V-Fit.

Vicky Leister and Schultz first met during Schultz's first round of chemotherapy.

"My parents wanted to take care of me, but I was a Zumba instructor and wanted to keep moving," Schultz said.

"She came to one of my morning classes and she walked with her mom and she was actually wearing a bandana on the head," Leister said.

But it wasn't the bandana that caught Leister's attention. "Even when she was shy, she was pale, she was bald, just by her smiling, it was amazing, she would light up the room," Leister said.

And it's because of that spirit that they knew they couldn't let Charlene fight this battle alone. 

Zumba instructors across Southwest Georgia have organized a Zumbathon on Saturday.One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Schultz's medical expenses.

"I feel like I am my sister's keeper. But definitely having met her and just got to see her heart and experience the type of person she is, I feel like she deserves it," said Zumba instructor Alexandria Hobbs.

It's a tough battle for the single mother, who has a 9-year-old daughter. "We just got to face it and fight it and tomorrow will come hopefully," an emotional Schultz said, grateful for the support of her friends.

Her friends, family and her mother are confident Schultz can beat cancer again.

"She will get through this, because of the man up above," said Charlene's mother, Mede Schultz.

Schultz is scheduled to start chemotherapy again in mid-October, followed by radiation. 

Saturday's Zumbathon is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Tony's Gym. It's open to anyone. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

Anyone who can't attend, but still wants to donate can do so on a GoFundMe account.

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