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'Fight like Mel': Eagle dance fitness community supporting instructor through cancer diagnosis

Melanie Webb of Eagle was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in October 2021.

EAGLE, Idaho — A beloved dance fitness instructor in Eagle received a third breast cancer diagnosis, this time stage 4 and metastatic breast cancer. Melanie Webb's dance fitness community at SHiNE Dance Fitness wants her to know she is supported 100% of the way.

"My biggest hope for her and for all of us - because we all miss her so much, is she can get strong enough to get back here," Webb's friend and Owner/Founder of SHiNE Dance Fitness Kendall Nielson said.

Nielson said she met Webb around the same time she first started SHiNE Dance Fitness in 2010. Webb came in to try a class, then it turned into her trying multiple classes and eventually Webb started to help choreograph and get new dance fitness videos on YouTube.

"It was a time in her life when she was experiencing cancer for the very first time," Nielson said. "She had gotten breast cancer and she was going through chemo and she was kind of wrapping chemo up."

Nielson credits Webb for helping build some of their YouTube following. Now, SHiNE Dance Fitness has 252,000 subscribers on the platform and attract people from around the world. Webb also helped teach new SHiNE Dance Fitness instructors. 

"Melanie had been cancer-free for 10 years and then right before the pandemic hit, we learned the breast cancer had come back," Nielson said.

She added Webb had a double mastectomy, went through reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy and more. 

Webb was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in January 2020, but Nielson said by the time September 2020 came around, she was back at the studio dancing and teaching classes.

"Just like the warrior she is, she got to work," Nielson said. "She is very focused on just focusing on the positive."

However, in October 2021, things again took a turn for the worse and Webb was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Nielson said the cancer spread to Webb's liver and lungs, and she is having a hard time speaking.

Webb is currently undergoing more treatments to help fight the stage 4 breast cancer.

To help support Webb and her two sons through this, Nielson and SHiNE Dance Fitness are hosting a fundraiser dance fitness class on YouTube Saturday, Feb. 26 at 9:30 a.m. MT. 

The class is free, but Nielson is asking people to make a donation to Webb's GoFundMe, where 100% of the proceeds from the fundraiser class will go. 

"I know that this class is going to be uplifting and give anybody and everybody hope," Nielson said.

SHiNE Dance Fitness is also selling "Warrior: Fight like Mel" tanks. All proceeds from the tanks will also go to Webb and her support system.

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