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Breast Cancer Survivor Says Physical Fitness Made All the Difference in Fight, Recovery

In honor of Jane Rabe, Canton studio invites public to join its 'dance to fight breast cancer' this week.

Being physically fit did not prevent Jane Rabe from a breast cancer diagnosis or the chemotherapy, double Mastectomy and reconstruction that followed.

But Rabe, a Simsbury resident, knows it made all the difference in her recovery.

“Fitness, health and well being are so important,” she said. “They can really make a huge difference to the entire process and how quickly you recover as well.”

Rabe is a long-time fitness instructor. She currently concentrates on pilates but has also taught aerobics, step aerobics, weight lifting and more.

She also enjoys taking classes and one of her favorite activities in dancing at Valley Ballet and Dance Fitness.

This week the studio is hosting a fundraiser for The National Breast Cancer Foundation in honor of Rabe and other brave women.

Rabe was diagnosed four years ago and after went through a year-long process dealing with the disease and its affects. 

Having stayed in shape helped with range of motion and other struggles as she recovered but Rabe’s outlook has also been a positive. There were moments when she didn’t feel well but never considered herself “sick.”

"I never felt sick during the whole process,” she said. “You just go on — or at least I did.”

It’s more recently that she began taking DAnce Fit classes at Valley Ballet but she believes it is one factor in keeping healthy.

“It’s truly my favorite workout,” she said. “It’s really a great group of women.”

She also believes it helps lower stress, one component to keeping healthy and hopefully keeping the cancer at bay.

“You’re never really given a clean slate,” she said. “You hope for the best.”

That positive attitude has helped her through her ordeal and many believe in inspiring other women.

“She’s just a bright and shining person,” said Valley Ballet owner and director Gayle Micca. “She’s very open about what she’s been through.”

Rabe has learned that life is unpredictable and urges everyone to get in shape. 

“It could be anything you don’t see coming,” Rabe said. “Going into it in good physical shape made it a much different experience.”

Valley Ballet will "Dance to Fight Breast Cancer" Oct. 24 to 27. All proceeds from walk in classes will be donated to the National Breast Cancer foundation. Women and Men are invited to join us for Zumba and DAnceFit Mix classes. Suggested donation per class is a minimum of $10. Checks may be made payable to "the National Breast Cancer Foundation."

Schedule is as follows:

  • Oct. 24 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. — Zumba
  • Oct. 25 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. — DAnceFit Mix (Cardio Dance, Strength, Stretch, Yoga) 
  • Oct. 26 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. — Zumba 
  • Oct. 27 9 to 10 a.m. — Zumba 

Micca has no set goal in mind but hopes it does well.

“I’m hoping with these four days we will be able to raise a substantial amount of money," Micca said.

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