Dear fellow dancer and friend, both old and new - You might be one of the lucky individuals who have had the opportunity to either dance with Dorian or witness his passion behind the DJ booth as he shares his love of Latin music with the community.
You might also have noticed that Dorian has been absent from the dancing and DJ scene for a little while... It started with some back pain that was initially treated as muscle injury, but then evolved into rapid weight loss and bruising - a trip to the doctor to investigate the problem led to a devastating diagnosis of aggressive stage 3 Multiple Myeloma, a cancer in the bone marrow. 90% of his bone marrow already destroyed by the cancer. He is currently receiving chemotherapy and is expected to undergo a bone marrow transplant at Duke University in the next 3 to 4 months.
Needless to say, this life-changing diagnosis impacts not only Dorian, but his entire family, including his wife Tracy, their daughter Athena (7), their twin sons Tiago and Uriah (4), and Dorian's sons Brandon (13) and Anthony (22).
This campaign aims to help Dorian and his family financially so they can focus on getting Dorian back to health. Dorian is fighting for his life, and every little bit helps to ease his concerns regarding his ability to provide for his family at this time. The money will be used in the following ways:
1. Pay for 2 years of high insurance deductibles 2. Relocation to North Carolina during the bone marrow transplant treatment, which often lasts several months 3. Replacement of lost income, since Dorian will not be able to work at all during the time and Tracy will be limited in her capacity to tend to the Mambo Room, the dance studio they own and love.
More about Dorian and the Mambo Room -
Dorian grew up in a very small town in the mountains of Guatemala with his parents and five siblings. At the young age of 18, he made his way to the United States to find work and help provide for his family back in his country. He came here with nothing more than the clothes on his back, love in his heart, and the desire to make life better for his family back home. Not speaking the language, Dorian faced many obstacles, but he knew he could succeed and so he started working jobs in hotels and restaurants. The satisfaction of sending funds home motivated him to keep going. Over time, he learned English, increased his job skills and started a family. In the midst of all that, like so many of us, he fell in love with salsa dancing.
Next to his family, salsa became his strongest passion and despite the limited options for salsa in Hampton Roads, he took classes and danced every opportunity that he could. He became intertwined in a small group of friends who all shared his passion and thus the idea of the Mambo Room was born. The small group of friends multiplied and before they knew it, they had over 80-100 people coming to learn salsa and dancing together every week and the Mambo Room. That small group of friends grew into an awesome dance community in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
As an owner of the Mambo Room, Dorian felt compelled to make his studio THE happy place for friends who love to dance and an opportunity for them to not only better their dancing, but also their lives. He travelled to DC, New York, North Carolina and Philly to take classes absorbing as much salsa and bachata as he possibly could. He also learned how to be a DJ from Steve Green in Richmond and how to run dance teams from Darlin Garcia in Philly. It was his passion to share all of his knowledge of dance and music with his Hampton Roads community through the Mambo Room. He knew he had a gift that could help others and change lives. You see, for Dorian salsa is not just a dance or hobby. It is his way of life and he knows that for those who fall in love with it, they experience self growth and life enhancement, and while at the Mambo Room he makes sure they feel community love and support.
What Dorian and his wife Tracy started eleven years ago with friends was such a small idea for fun. They had no idea it would eventually result in what they have now - an amazing community of loving people who support each other in dance and in life. As one of the original founders, Dorian is the HEART of the Mambo Room. Starting the Mambo Room opened an amazing world to him and in return, he opens it to others.
But more importantly, he is a husband and dad who needs his family to be supported by his dancing family as he fights to live.