Special Reports

Survivor battles cancer one Zumba class at a time

Angela Rose doesn't let her metastatic breast cancer stop her from living

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- At the Diva Den Studio in Portland, it's easy to see why Angela Rose has always called herself a "mover." 

"I always had a physical ability and I always pushed myself," Angela said. "I think now in my older years, I'm pushing myself even more ... I feel like I'm really fighting for something now."

Seven years ago, Angela got news no one wants to hear.

"The first time I was diagnosed, it was very, very difficult," she said. 

She had stage three breast cancer and despite chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy -- in 2016, the cancer came back.

"When you have this disease in your family, you realize what's important to you," Angela's husband Matt said. Together, they are raising an 11-year-old daughter.

Angela found a  Zumba class at the Diva Den that has been the difference between life and death.

"When I got my diagnosis two years ago, one of the first things I did was I sought out an all women's studio," Angela said. "I feel the love when I go to those classes, I feel the community, it's inspiring."

Doctors have said dancing is like a drug. It can improve your memory, make you more coordinated and be a mental escape.

"I think that's the biggest struggle that I deal with on a daily basis is, even though I can look OK, I'm still dealing with this internal battle," Angela said. 

Angela's cancer is now metastatic and while it has spread throughout her body, it doesn't slow her down.

"I treat Angela like Angela, I don't treat Angela like a cancer patient," Matt said. 

More information about metastatic breast cancer
The latest research on metastatic breast cancer 

But Angela's story isn't about dying -- it's about living and learning one of life's most important lessons.

"I think it's so important for women who are also dealing with this disease to never give up hope and if someone tells you you have stage 4 cancer, it's not necessarily a death sentence," she said. "Even though the statistics will give you these numbers that are not favorable, I will never give up hope. I will never consider myself in the 99%, I'm going to be in the 1% that survives."

Besides going to Zumba class several times a week, Angela takes medication, vitamins and supplements.

Join Angela and thousands of other survivors and loved ones at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Sept. 16 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park 

KOIN 6 News anchor Jennifer Hoff's series, Women Crush Wednesday, highlights women who are crushing it. Who do you know breaking glass ceilings, inspiring others, doing good?
Send a message to Jennifer Hoff.

 


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