The Pink Fund's Dancing For The Survivors Event Returns
The gala event will feature a performance by the late Aretha Franklin's choreographer, Lisa McCall
By: The Pink Fund
The Mint will be transformed into a sea of pink with an evening of delicious food, delectable desserts and an exciting, moving program. Dancing For The Survivors® will bring together breast cancer survivors and supporters alike to support Pink Fund's mission through a silent auction, raffle items and a lively paddle raise.
This year, Pink Fund is honored to partner with esteemed choreographer, Lisa McCall. McCall performed as a member of the late Aretha Franklin's dance troupe and later served as the singer's choreographer up until her passing. McCall is a breast cancer survivor herself and has not spoken publicly about her diagnosis until partnering with Pink Fund.
"I made the choice to step away from my opportunity with Aretha when I learned about my diagnosis, as well as take time off from another job I had. I told almost no one at the time, even Aretha," McCall said. "Someone did tell Aretha, and her love and support for me and my family was unprecedented."
McCall found solace in her art, and went on to write a musical, Blues Rhythm, while she was recovering from her cancer. "I was not mentally ok. But dance, music and art made me feel whole and beautiful again." She continues to work with many performers today.
She will be choreographing an exclusive performance for the event to honor breast cancer survivors.
Our featured dancers this year are all breast cancer survivors who have graciously offered to take the stage to share their stories with attendees. These stories will highlight how diverse the breast cancer experience is for patients and attendees will learn more about how vital it is to provide financial support for survivors in need.
Victoria Griffin and Donnett Jourdan, who met through the Sisters Network, a national African American Breast Cancer survivorship group, are performing together under McCall's choreography.
While going through treatment, Griffin found herself thinking, "I'm fighting for my life here, do you really think I'm thinking about paying a bill? I might not be alive tomorrow!" While she was able to complete treatment and pay off all her bills, she said she understands this is not the case for a lot of cancer patients.
Twin sisters Tegan Higgins and Tiffany Dietz are performing a duet together to showcase their story. In 2019, after a routine mammogram, Dietz was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and as a result had a mastectomy and reconstruction. Shortly thereafter, Higgins was also diagnosed with breast cancer, although hers was non-invasive, and had the same surgery and surgeon as her twin sister. Interestingly, the cancer found in the twins was in the exact same spot on the same breast. Higgins credits Dietz for saving her life.
Without her sister's persistence and encouragement, she may not have advocated for herself and pushed her doctors to take a biopsy of a seemingly harmless spot they were monitoring. The twins have a growing social media following where they stress the importance of mammograms in between more lighthearted lifestyle content.
"As social media influencers and breast cancer survivors, we love dancing as a way to connect with our followers and have fun. Our Channel, @tandttwintalk, encourages women to celebrate themselves through fashion and fun, while reminding them to take care of their health, including getting their mammograms,"
Pink Fund provides financial support to help meet basic needs, decrease stress levels, and allow breast cancer patients in active treatment to focus on healing while improving survivorship outcomes.
"While fighting for their lives, women and men in active treatment for breast cancer often lose their livelihoods,"
A breast cancer diagnosis can destroy the financial health and well-being of the patient and their family. While in active treatment, many patients are unable to work and experience a loss of income that can result in catastrophic financial losses and the need to rebuild financial health.
"Dancing for The Survivors® is an evening of education, entertainment, and inspiration. Dancers share their stories, educating our guests on the nuances of breast cancer and the challenges patients and families face while in treatment for the disease," said MacDonald.
ABOUT PINK FUND
Pink Fund is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides education and financial support to help meet basic needs, decrease stress levels, and allow breast cancer patients in active treatment to focus on healing while improving survivorship outcomes. Founded in 2006, Pink Fund has provided more than $7 million in financial relief to breast cancer survivors.
Dr. Pam Perry
Page Updated Last on: Oct 11, 2023