Bald Ballerina's 1st Birthday
Today Bald Ballerina celebrates her 1st 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. This was very hard for me to accept. I was only 23. I couldn’t help but wonder 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 celebrate and 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.
This past year has been a wild roller coaster ride, with scary moments followed by the exhilaration of relief. 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.
One of the few positives about cancer is the opportunity to make new friends and to re-connect with people who have left your life. Another positive is to have new experiences. Here are some of the firsts I experienced during the past year:
• Being interviewed for blogs, newspaper & magazine articles, television & radio programs • Speaking in public before large audiences • Producing a dance concert • Performing as a bald dancer • Teaching master classes and speaking with young dancers about breast cancer • Participating in a fashion magazine photo shoot • Attending an NFL football game and being on the field for a pre-game ceremony • Meeting an Olympic Champion
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 new experiences possible. I can’t begin to express how much your support means to me.