Exercise event raising funds for cancer patient

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By Cindy Simpson

A group will gather to do Zumba at the former Kroger building at the Shoppes of Walden Ridge from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 28.

The exercise event is to raise cancer awareness and money for Darlene Scarbrough, a pancreatic cancer patient who bonded with Zumba instructor Kay Houser before becoming too ill to participate in the Aqua Zumba where they met.

“When we met at Aqua Zumba we just had a bond right off the bat,” said Houser.

“It is more than a fitness class. We are just family — no matter who you are,”

Scarbrough agreed.

“That is how I felt when I was able to go,” she said.

Houser, who has fought breast cancer, said their common battle cemented the bond.

Scarbrough said the love of her family and friends like Houser who care for her help her on days she feels like giving up.

“I know I have to keep fighting, it doesn’t matter how tired I feel,” she said.

So far, Scarbrough has defied the odds.

After being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer last year, she’s still going strong. Many people die within months of diagnosis.

“God has been good to me,” said Scarbrough, who is currently doing rounds of double chemotherapy each Friday.

She still believes in a miracle.

“I’ve had to have a lot of prayer,” Scarbrough said. “Anybody who can get a prayer through is what I need. I need a miracle. If I don’t get one soon, I’m afraid I won’t be here to see Brooke (Underwood) graduate from high school,” she said, referring to her granddaughter.

Houser said she’d been following updates from Scarbrough’s daughter, Amanda Underwood.

“Amanda is doing a great job documenting what she’s going through,” Houser said. “I saw some of the pictures one day, and I just thought we have to do something.”

Houser said she knows the helplessness of feeling like you cannot do something to help someone, but she also knows how much the little things can mean to someone suffering with cancer.

“You would think that is not that big a deal, but it is helpful when someone does something for you,” she said. “It is like a wall holding you up.”

Scarbrough first became aware something wasn’t quite right in 2012, when her heart doctor recommended she see her lung doctor because he didn’t like the way her breathing sounded.

She had a CT scan that showed spots on her lungs.

They later did a second scan and found more spots.

In March 2013, they did a PET scan.

That is when they found the actual source of the little spots were coming from her pancreas.

Scarbrough has since had surgery and chemotherapy and radiation.

She said she felt fine at her diagnosis with no real symptoms and was still going to Aqua Zumba and other activities.

Doors to the fundraising Zumba event will open at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $10 per person.

For more information contact Houser at 376-0909 or Paulette Ray at 712-3153.