Forty-one men and women have danced, stretched and lunged their way through three hours of fundraising.
A Zumba, Mash It Up, Veraflow and Ravefit event held at Drapers Mills school in Margate on Sunday (November 5) has raised £1,750 for two local causes – the special care baby unit at Margate’s QEQM and Help for Helena.
Two-year-old Helena was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy when she was eight months old.
SMA causes progressive loss of movement and muscle weakness as a result of muscle wasting (atrophy). The condition may affect crawling and walking ability, arm, hand, head and neck movement, breathing and swallowing.
Type 1 is the most serious form of the condition. Helena has been diagnosed as falling between Type 1 and Type 2.
A deficiency of motor neurone protein means sufferers are unable to send signals from the brain via the spinal cord, along the nerve cells and through to muscles. This means they cannot contract the muscles and make them move.
The condition means Helena’s family face a high volume of costs for machinery to improve her life, such as a wheelchair or a respiratory machine. Fundraising money will go towards helping the family make these purchases.
Drapers Mills donated the hall and the cash was raised through entrance fee, raffle, sponsorship and cake selling.
With some sponsorship money still due to come in the grand total is not yet known.
The Zumbathon was led by fitness instructors Rebekah Castle – who teaches Zumba and RaveFit – and Jeni Dexter.
Rebekah said: “We picked the charities as one of my regular Zumba ladies, Pearl, has a family connection to Helena.
“The other as the other instructor Jeni recently had a good friend lose a baby – they used SCBU near her home town for her baby girl who sadly passed away hours after being born. Without this unit she wouldn’t have had the last few hours with her in comfort, with her family saying goodbye. They also kept baby Alina comfortable and stable, even if it was just for a few hours.
They were a family for that short time. The support she had was amazing.
“The zumbathon was a huge success- it’s the third year I’ve run one – and this was far the biggest amount of money we have raised.
People are saying they had a great time and want to do another!”
For class details contact Rebekah on 07531164246