DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Linda Hoover has been on an emotional journey since March when she went to the doctor for a routine mammogram.

“They suspected something was not quite right, and so I ended up having a lumpectomy,” Hoover said. “After that, I got the dreaded phone call from my surgeon saying she removed cancer cells. I thought ‘this is not supposed to happen to me. Breast cancer doesn't even run in my family.’”

Hoover was declared cancer-free in late June, after going through 20 radiation treatments.

“The side effects are fatigue and pain and it's cumulative so I'm still going through a little bit, even though I rang the bell that ended my radiation treatments on [June] 25th,” she said.

Despite the five years of medication, she’s been given and doctors’ orders to get a mammogram every six months, Hoover has stayed upbeat about everything. Even with lower-than-usual energy, she regularly attends Zumba classes at Kinetix Health Club in Dawsonville. Hoover says she especially enjoys the classes led by Rosbeth Leath.

“When I'm not here, Linda does not take the Zumba class, because she's such a fan of my classes and it's really humbling to me,” Leath said. “When she told me about her journey, something in me was like ‘okay you have to do something for her.’ But it was bigger than me. I didn't think I could do any kind of fundraiser for her.”

By chance, Leath ended up meeting Jessica Lusk, a resident of Cumming who has a membership to Kinetix. Lusk also happens to know a thing or two about fundraisers.

“Without me saying anything to her, Jessica told me how she did a fundraiser for her friend last year and she raised a lot of money,” Leath said. “And I was like ‘okay God, you're putting the right people in my path like you really want this to happen.’”

“Within 10 minutes, both of us clicked and we're like ‘hey, we have to do this for her, we have to love on her in this way,’” Lusk said. “We began that day talking with the gym owner to get permission to host it here, and we just started making arrangements.”

The two women started planning a fundraiser to help Hoover with the financial burden of cancer treatment. At that time, Lusk had not met Hoover. But, eventually, all three women got together to discuss the details.

“About two weeks after I learned about [Hoover’s] situation, I got to meet her in person and just go over everything,” Lusk said. “She's very humbled by us wanting to do that for her.”

“I feel loved and supported and so encouraged,” Hoover said. “I just appreciate all they've done. I feel blessed.”

The fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, July 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Kinetix Health Club. It will be a Zumbathon which is basically an extended Zumba class with multiple instructors. The event is $25 per person and will also include a silent auction.

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