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Zumba for a cause

Ten-year-old Breana Graves of South Point loves to wear the color pink from the trim on her tennis shoes to her tank top to the insulin pump dangling from her sweat pants.

And it is that insulin pump that brought out 30 women Saturday afternoon for a three-hour Zumba dance class that was a fundraiser to help Breana’s family pick up part of the cost of that pump.

Last fall the South Point Elementary student was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and must have multiple injections of insulin throughout each day. Making sure she is getting the correct dosage of insulin at all times is why an insulin pump was chosen for Breana to use.

The pump and a monitor that lets her know 24-hours a day her sugar level cost approximately $10,000. After insurance, that had left the family with a bill of about $4,000.

But friends of Breana and her mother Alissa Deeds have rallied around the family with a variety of fundraisers with the Zumba-thon as the latest. So far about $1,500 has been raised from these events.

“I cried when I came in and saw all these people,” Deeds said. “This is awesome. I feel so blessed.”

It was in September when her daughter started showing symptoms that Deeds first thought was just the flu.

“She’d stay thirsty and felt nauseous,” Deeds said. “She lost 17 pounds in a month and a half.”

When doctors confirmed Breana’s diagnosis, Deeds said the news was “heartbreaking and devastating.”

But the insulin pump has made life for the young girl somewhat easier Deeds said.

And with the continued support of the area to help with its cost, the family says it is grateful.

“I feel good about it,” Breana said about the response to the Zumba classes. “I’m happy that people care.”

And as Carl Hairston led the dancers into a series of steps and twists, Breana joined in with ease.

“I have to deal with this,” she said. “It’s better that I have it than someone who can’t take care of it.”