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Movin' for a good cause

Zumbathon held for R'dam teen with brain tumor

Mother's Day is usually a happy day, but this year, Michelle DeLorenzo was given news no mother wants to hear.

DeLorenzo's 14-year-old son, Devon LaPrade, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor after spending 12 hours in the emergency room to reach the diagnosis hours after Mother's Day ended. The Rotterdam mother was stunned to hear the results, because she didn't think the problem was too serious.

I wasn't even going to take him to the hospital, but my sister insisted I really didn't think that they were going to drop this on us, said DeLorenzo.

To help the family out, Best Fitness held a Zumbathon fundraiser on Saturday, June 25. Best Fitness' group exercise room only holds 100 people, so in hopes of more coming, which did, the event was held outside in the parking lot. The Rotterdam Police Department donated barricades to close off the area.

"[Zumba] is something that appeals to not just the regular fitness crowd. It gets a lot of people active that are not gym people," said Karly Taylor, chief operating officer for Best Fitness. "It is a huge craze and it is fun."

More than 130 people showed up for the unique event and $2,476 was raised to help offset medical expenses incurred by the family.

LaPrade started to display some symptoms around a week or two before going to the ER, said DeLorenzo, which included walking "funny" and slurred speech. He is also out of the typical age for the tumor to form, because it is most common among 6- to 10-year-olds.

"I told him he had a migraine and gave him some Excedrin," she said. "That wasn't a symptom when we brought him to the hospital."

She said before they brought him to the hospital, he said he thought he had a brain tumor.

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