In the 608: How Mount Horeb community is showing support for Rena

Rena Williams

MOUNT HOREB, Wis. — We first introduced you to Mount Horeb native Rena Williams a few weeks ago on News 3 Now This Morning. The 35-year-old has been dancing her way through cancer.

Rena says she can’t believe how far her story has gone in such a short amount of time.

“It has just meant the world to me and my family,” said Williams.

Rena’s been battling an aggressive form of breast cancer since last fall, but it’s how she’s been getting herself through it, by dancing, that’s inspiring people across the country.

Maybe most impressed are those at Mount Horeb Area School District, where she grew up. That’s why 5th grade teacher and varsity dance coach Channing Liska came up with an idea of creating a video in Rena’s honor.

“I coach the team and the reason we dance is to bring smiles to people’s faces,” Liska said. “I just wanted to do something.”

The Mount Horeb Dance Team sent Rena a recorded performance to a remixed version of “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten in front of the high school.

It started with just Liska’s dance team members, who felt like they had a purpose again, in the age of COVID-19.

“This year, we haven’t had a normal dance season with the pandemic,” Liska explained. “We haven’t been able to perform, so when we were given this chance to make something, they just took it and ran.”

Liska shared the idea with her superintendent, who then got the whole school district involved. Many of Rena’s former educators showed their words of support and encouragement in the video as well.

“They’re just so proud of her, they’re rooting for her, and the support is here,” Liska concluded. “We love her.”

Rena says she was humbled and honored that they were still thinking of her in her hometown.

“You have certain times in your life that you have to put on your fighting gloves, and I don’t think they could have picked a better song,” Williams said.

Liska says she was touched by Rena’s strength

“To be faced with cancer in the year of the pandemic, like I can’t even imagine,” Liska added. “So the fact that she was able to take this and tackle it with such positivity, it’s inspirational.”

Rena tells News 3 Now she’s amazed by the everlasting impact she’s having on others by continuing to be positive.

“All of these very kind gestures have motivated me and have given me momentum to get through this next challenging part which is surgery, so from the bottom of my heart, I thank everybody,” Williams added.

Rena’s going to need that continued support all across the 608. Doctors say her tumor is gone, but her fight isn’t over yet. She’s set to have surgery on April 1st.

If you’d like to check out the full video by Mount Horeb Area School District, click here. You can also find all of Rena’s dance videos by going to her YouTube page.