Fighting cancer is one of the most challenging trials you hope you never have to face. Every year, 1.74 million new diagnoses of cancer occur in the United States, and although about two thirds of those patients successfully beat cancer, it’s still a difficult battle.
Everyone who has been diagnosed with the illness finds a unique way to stay positive throughout it all, whether it’s sending inspiring messages to family and friends or putting on a show. For some, dancing is a great way to not only cope with the difficulties of cancer, but also raise money to help find a cure.
A Viral Video Brings Hope
In 2016, Ana-Alecia Ayala was fighting cancer of the uterus, going through chemotherapy and all the difficulties that come with it. She had lost her hair, but still had a smile on her face and a pep in her step.
After one of her chemo treatments, Ayala and her friend Danielle Andrus were in a Texas hospital when they decided to create an inspiring dance video to share with the world. While still connected to her IV, Ayala and her friend developed a dance routine while dancing to “Juju on That Beat.”
The video was captioned, “Ana-Alecia Ayala accepts Danielle Andrus’ dance challenge on day two of a four-day intensive chemo treatment proving cancer WON’T get the last laugh.”
Ayala also wrote on her Instagram page, “Who says cancer and chemo have to get you down? We’ll have the last laugh!”
Within just two days of posting the video, they had received more than 2 million views, and people from all over the country got online to show their support. They said seeing someone making such a positive display out of such a difficult situation was inspiring.
That positive reaction for others suffering from cancer, Ayala said, is what she was trying to achieve. “I also want to encourage cancer patients’ loved ones to step out of their comfort zones and be silly, have a dance party, be present in the moment and have a great time,” she told reporters.
According to Ayala, cancer doesn’t have to be a reason to give up your zest for life. If you look at facts about breast cancer and other common cancers, the prognosis for those diagnosed is usually good. They often live several more years if they don’t beat cancer altogether.
Fundraising in the Form of Dancing
Inspired by this video and a love of dancing, many cancer research supporters use “Dancing for the Cure” as the tagline for a fundraising event. Sometimes, the event is a special show put on by a ballet or dance troupe in which all proceeds go towards cancer research. You get a great show out of the deal while benefiting these nonprofit groups.
Other times, the event is a huge dance-a-thon, where guests pay for the privilege of dancing for hours. The event might feature Zumba dancing, line dancing, hip-hop, dance-offs, and all sorts of other dance moves. It’s a blast, and all profits from the event help the cure-finding efforts move forward.
Many dance centers offer Dancing for the Cure events. If you live in the Chicago area, for example, look for a dance center in Naperville and Oakbrook Terrace, IL, to see if they have such an event going on. You can have a great time with your loved ones while raising money for this noble cause.
If dancing isn’t your thing, you can get involved in plenty of other ways. Reach out to your local cancer research or treatment center to see how you can help raise funds for the cause.