Friday, 25 March 2016 05:27

Collaborative efforts result in a fundraising Zumbathon and a marathon trip all to benefit Diabetes research

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Miranda, Lisa and brother Jamie Woodrow were a tight knit group. Lisa lost her life-ling battle with diabetes about six months ago. Miranda, Lisa and brother Jamie Woodrow were a tight knit group. Lisa lost her life-ling battle with diabetes about six months ago. Photo contributed

Miranda Woodrow’s older sister Lisa was always there for her. Lisa was always proud of her baby sister and they had a close family.


Unfortunately, the family has a history of diabetes, a disease which took the life of Lisa six months ago. Some good has come out of this  tragedy.
Miranda joined Team Diabetes and is running/walking a half marathon in Niagara with members of her family, including her mom and two nieces.
As part of the healing process and to celebrate life and to raise funds for the Diabetes Association, Woodrow received the help of friend Christine Ciona and has the Kiva Studio helping arrange a fun-filled two hour Zumba dance party April 1 at the Eagle’s Hall. All the proceeds of the event will go towards The Diabetes Association.
Woodrow is excited for the fundraiser and is grateful for all of those people who helped with donating prizes, the Eagle’s Hall donation of the space and of course to Ciona who is organizing the actual Zumbathon portion.
“I adore Christine and I love Kiva and that is how I met her,” explains Woodrow. “I had made my mom and I training shirts and wore it to a class Christine was hosting and she asked about them and I told her our story and right there on the spot she asked if we could do a Zumbathon. I was super excited about the idea and leery because training and grieving — it seemed like a full plate — but everything has just fallen into place. The Eagles (are) donating the hall for our use, DJ James Bull is donating his services of an awesome sound and light party, the community has come together to offer raffle prizes and donations.”
It was an easy decision for Ciona to help out. She liked Woodrow’s enthusiasm with Ciona’s wellness company Kiva.
“When she first signed up, she dove right in and took al of our classes and was the first to check in and was really passionate and excited about our programming and I loved her enthusiasm,” explains Ciona. “I was eager to connect with her when she got back home and so when she did come back we had a conversation. I just offered her this suggestion when I heard that her family was committed in moving through their grief and moving through the great challenge by going out to Ontario to be part of a national Diabetes Association event and they were going to be part of a marathon and in making a huge leap in positive action in the face of grief. I knew there was a place for us to help out.
“I am very eager to be part of the process with the Miranda and see her and see her family shining and stepping forward in the face of grief and loss and to invite others into their experience and to invite others to step forward into health and wellness and awareness in the midst of such a loss and tragedy. I feel that’s an extreme tribute of character and passion and commitment and contribution to Miranda and her relationship ... it speaks volume of her relationship with her sister.”
Woodrow’s sister moved to Ottawa to go to college and that is where she met her husband. She had three children and lived in the nation’s capital the last 20 years.
Lisa got diabetes when she was two and struggled to keep it controlled and live her life to the fullest.
The Niagara marathon trip has always been in the offing for Woodrow, but the “stars never aligned” until now. Family members have been lost to diabetes. When the timeframe worked, with her cousins, her mom and the fact Woodrow’s personal hero, Katherine Switzer, the first woman to ever run in the Boston Marathon was going, it was a can’t miss. It’s been a bonding experience for Woodrow and her mom too who have been training together for the past 20 weeks.
“I got my mom convinced to go on an a grand adventure with me ... Not all of us can make it, but I can’t wait to cross that finish line with my mom and two of my sister’s kids. My sister will be so proud,” says Woodrow who has done one half marathon before, but her mother has not. “It started out pretty easy, but now we’re about halfway there and are up to about 20 to 30 miles per week.”
It’s been an inspiring effort for Woodrow and her family. Woodrow’s sister, who was six years older, would be proud and honoured with all the efforts being made in tribute to her.
“My sister was super smart, loved music — she was a singer and pianist,” explains Woodrow. “She loved curling; she was grumpy and as loving as a proper big sister should be.”
The  Zumbathon April 1 begins at 6 p.m. with the actual dancing starting at 7 p.m.
It’s a two-hour Zumba fitness dance party for all ages and fitness levels. Miranda and her family will briefly address the patrons. There are also a number of prizes up for grabs.
“You will be guided through Zumba dancing with certified zumba fitness instructors from southwest Saskatchewan,” explains Ciona. “We have a team there to guide, whether you dance 10 minutes or the entire two hours is completely up to you, but we will keep you moving and grooving. You will be pleasantly surprised as to how easy it is to dance for the entire two hours when you are having fun.
“Fun, upbeat world music latin-infused, different cultural music in a fun, fitness style that your mind, body and heart will love.”
Tickets are $20 per person or a pack of five tickets are $75 and can be picked up at Kiva, Pharmasave or at the door.
For more information contact: Christine Ciona at KIVA (306-774-6478) or Miranda Woodrow (306-741-4512).
Not only will you be helping out a great cause, it could be a lifechanger for those coming.
“I’m really excited about the event. I love movement, I love dance and I love community. For me, when I move, when I dance, I feel like I am filled with light and sunshine and that joy is oozing out of me,” says Ciona. “I know life can get full and it can get heavy and complicated and we can have lots on our to-do lists, we can have family members facing illness and disease, we can be overloaded and over stressed, but what if dancing could be our medicine? What if moving our bodies and having fun celebrating health wellness with our friends actually helped us live an even more abundant joy-filled life? I truly believe this evening of the Zumbathon is an event that not only will make a difference for not only fundraising for the diabetes association, but it will really be an event that people will  truly be inspired about how amazing they are.
“(People) will be inspired by how you can try something new and you will meet new friends. You will move and you will groove you will find in you, I guarantee, you will find joy that night.”
Woodrow is grateful, happy and sad all at the same time.
“It’s been bittersweet, awe-inspiring blessedness and I thank everyone,” she adds.

Read 9544 times Last modified on Monday, 28 March 2016 08:45
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor