Making strides against breast cancer

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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario - This dance party raised more than just the roof - dozens of women donning pink in solidarity took over the Cornwall Square to help raise over $3,000 at a breast cancer walk Sunday.

For the third consecutive year, the annual Cleo Mother's Day Walk for Breast Cancer teamed up with Christal Bowen's Zumba With Christal.

Together they've transformed this event into a Zumba dance party, called Connect With Christal and Cleo at Cornwall Square.

In total, 125 participants danced for a cure or walked for the cause.

City resident Julie Jarvo, 46, single-handedly raised $850.

"I'm doing this to support my sister and some of my dearest friends who have been afflicted with breast cancer," said Jarvo.

Fundraising for the disease has always been a passion of hers. So being a new member of the Zumba community made the event a natural fit.

Upstairs, Louise Campbell, a breast cancer survivor, walked to raise awareness.

"An event like this brings women together and we share what we've dealt with," said Campbell. "It keeps cancer in the forefront of people's minds so it's not the deep dark secret it used to be."

In August 2012, she was diagnosed with the disease. Her life was put on pause by surgery, four months of chemotherapy, and three weeks of radiation therapy.

In March 2013, her luck changed for the better. The treatments stopped and two months later Campbell returned to work.

"If there's any message I want to put out there, it's to stay strong you have to be positive. And you have to have the support of the people around you so you don't feel like you're going through it alone," said Campbell.

The Cornwall store has hosted the event for 12 years. By adding a fun fitness component to the annual walk, attendance and support continue to grow.

Bowen was on CTV Ottawa earlier in the week showcasing the event with a live Zumba class.

"This collaboration has been fantastic," said Nicole Rose, store manager at Cleo.

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