Bald Ballerina 4th Birthday

Today Bald Ballerina celebrates her 4th birthday!

Her life began filled with hope despite a very poor medical prognosis: stage 4 metastatic breast cancer that had spread to the sternum, spine, and pelvis; median life expectancy 2-3 years; no cure on the horizon. 

This was very hard to accept. I was only 23. I wondered how many years would I live? Would I be able to dance? If so, for how long? I wanted to live and to dance for a long time. I decided medical statistics would not determine how long I would live.  

I learned that I would need both medical and moral support to keep the cancer at bay. So I became the Bald Ballerina. She was born to share the beauty of life with others, and to tell the world that breast cancer does not discriminate: No one is too young; No one is too fit; No one is immune from breast cancer. With your help and support, Bald Ballerina’s message spread and became a social media movement.

I am very grateful to everyone who has followed my journey and supported me with encouraging messages, prayers, suggestions, and donations. I treasure and appreciate them all. With your continued support and prayers, I hope to have many, many more years of living and dancing.

Here are some of the highlights of Bald Ballerina’s 4th year:

· All scans were NEAD: No Evidence of Active Disease
· Performed in Hollywood at the Industry Dance Awards where I met Christina Applegate , Kenny Ortega, and Doriana Sanchez.
· Kenny Ortega gave me his Lifetime Achievement Award.
· Visited Los Angeles and saw the Hollywood Sign, the Walk of Fame, and Disneyland
· Visited Omaha for the 1st time and went to the amazing Omaha Zoo where a silverback gorilla was very interested in me.
· Performed at the Oncology Appreciation Dinner at my hospital, Mercy Medical Center
· Walked and Danced in bedazzled pointe shoes on the runway in NY Fashion Week for AnaOno and #Cancerland
· Attended my 1st rock concert:  Billy Joel in Madison Square Garden thanks to Do It For the Love Foundation
· Capezio hosted a Meet the Bald Ballerina event at their flagship store in Manhattan
· Dance Magazine story: Meet the “Bald Ballerina” Fighting Breast Cancer
· German Public-Service Television ZDF filmed a feature story about me and crowdfunding healthcare in the USA
· Financial Times story: Why Are so Many Americans Crowdfunding Their Healthcare
· Spoke at the I Manifest Bliss Experience
· Spoke about breast cancer and performed at the Dancers Care Foundation Benefit and at Starbound National Talent Competition Finals at Foxwoods, Atlantic City, and Lake Tahoe
· Began working with iDance 4 a Cure and I'm A Dancer Against Cancer
· Produced my 4th No One Can Survive Alone benefit dance concert which was close to a sellout. 
· Participated in the Youth America Grand Prixballet competition for the 1st time as the coach of a competitor rather than a competitor
· Became a Dream Duffel Ambassador
· Continued teaching at local dance studios
· Continued teaching master classes and speaking to young dancers about breast cancer
· Continued performing on a freelance basis

I can’t wait to see what is in store for the Bald Ballerina in the coming years. Thank you to everyone who has shared my journey and who made these wonderful experiences possible. I can’t begin to express how much your support means to me.  
#breastcancer #thisismbc#metastaticbreastcancer #terminalbreastcancer#baldballerina

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