Local fitness group brings light to cancer awareness

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COLUMBIA - More than 700 people started their Saturday by exercising at the 8th annual Fitness for a Cure event at the Crossing Church.

Wilson's Fitness hosted different vendors, a series of exercise classes, a silent auction and local speakers.

The exercises started at 7 a.m. with body pump and ended at 1 p.m. with fusion flow yoga.

Catina Topash, the co-founder of the event and Wilson's fitness group director, said anybody can take any or all classes for a $10 donation.

"We do 30 minute representations of the classes that we offer at Wilson's," she said.

Topash said she likes giving people who have battled cancer or who are currently battling cancer the chance to share their story.

"We often like to center it around the fact that they utilize fitness, health and wellness to either get through their treatments or to help them get to the other side," she said.

Community members who are directly affected by cancer spoke in between classes. Cancer patient Angela Huhman said she gains the most inspiration from the cancer patients around her in chemotherapy.

"People think that the infusion room at a cancer center is this dreary place, and it's so not," she said.

Huhman currently has two treatments left of chemotherapy. She created a video series to document her journey with cancer over the last year.

"Events like this give me the chance to talk about my journey and inspire others, but I am always inspired by the people that have gone through worse than I have," she said.

Participants had the chance to make luminaries for $1 to remember a loved one who was impacted by cancer. 

Topash said this event has become very close to her heart in light of her mother passing away three years ago from cancer.

"I just want to carry on the tradition of helping people through whatever their battling or dealing with," she said.

All of the proceeds for the event went to the American Cancer Society.