A Cancer Survivor Goes To Nationals

I was fifteen months old when the course of my whole life changed. That was when I was first diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma and had two large tumors located in my liver. I was never going to be the same child my parents met on February 19th, 1993 when I was born. My parents still have no idea why I, the youngest of four girls, was the one who was given this horrible diagnosis. I had one of the rarest forms of childhood cancers and after much chemo therapy and liver resection surgery, I was deemed cancer free at two years of age.When I was fifteen years old, I found my true passion. That was to be a competitive ballroom dancer. The only issue is that ballroom dancing, along with other styles of dancing, is a very expensive sport. It has been a struggle finding ways to go to competitions. I am twenty-four years old now and am wanting to stand on my own two feet, paying my own way.In the beginning of September, my greatest desire is to go to Nationals in Orlando, FL. I have been striving to go for years, but finally I know I am ready and could possibly bring home some trophies for my studio. The problem is that of how to get there. The competition itself would cost me roughly between $3,500 and $4,500. This cost includes my entry fee and the package of heats (entries) of dances I would be dancing and other details, such as getting my gown cleaned and paying for hair and make-up.If anyone would be willing to donate money to my cause, any of the extra money raised would go to St. Baldrick's Foundation which is dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer. Only 4% of U.S. federal funding is solely dedicated to childhood cancer research. Much of the U.S. federal funding goes to adult cancer research even though most of the deaths caused by cancer are in children. So many people in the United States and across the world heard about my cancer when I was first diagnosed and sent up multiple prayers a day. I wouldn't be planning to go to Nationals to compete in ballroom dance if it was not for my incredible team of pediatric oncologists, surgeons and nurses. This is a personal request and some people frown upon this, but I am making it not only a personal request, but also as a goal to raise money for a good cause. I have come a very long way for a girl who was not supposed to survive past five years old. I want to be able to change another child's life whether that is giving them the ability to learn how to ballroom dance or to pursue other dreams. I want to help change someone's life the way my life was changed forever. Art is healing and dancing is my form of art. Therefore I will be competing in the name of St. Baldrick's Foundation and bringing more awareness to childhood cancer and the research which is underfunded. Thank you for your donations and following me in my journey to Nationals.

Donations (24)

  • Linda Ripepi
    • $50 
    • 6 yrs
  • Janet Powell
    • $400 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs
  • Karolina Szpiech
    • $80 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs
  • Jan Hawley
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs


Emma Woodhouse
Charlotte, NC

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