About SUSAN RIZZO VINCENT – FOUNDER

Susan Rizzo Vincent is Andréa’s mom. Susan has had a long and rewarding career as an elementary school teacher. She loves children and feels blessed to have spent her entire adult life being inspired by them. Susan received certification as an Expressive Arts Educational Facilitator at Salve Regina University.

Susan began her first book, Dréa’s Dream: An Unfinished Dance, upon her only child’s request. Andréa and Susan decided to share their journey as a close-knit mother-daughter team. Together they conquered the challenges of Andréa’s bout with childhood cancer and learning disabilities.

When Andréa became a Special Education teacher for second grade students in Narragansett, Rhode Island and had begun her graduate studies in dance/movement therapy (a lifelong dancer), it seemed like the perfect time to start their project. With identical writing journals in hand they began to outline what they hoped would be an inspiration for many young people who had faced the same challenges.  On May 19, 2002, Andréa was killed by a drunk driver at age 24.

Susan found herself surrounded by family and friends (Andréa’s friends as well) and the Andréa Rizzo Foundation was born – a non-profit, organization that funds Dréa’s Dream pediatric dance/movement therapy program for children with cancer and special needs in schools, hospitals and medical settings nationwide.  A drunk driver may have taken her daughter’s life – but Andréa’s dream lives on.

Dréa’s Dream continues to spread to renowned hospitals and schools through the support of Dance Across America®.

I never imagined that I would experience joy again, but the Andréa Rizzo Foundation has brought  
joy back into my life – a life that has been transformed from tragedy to triumph. 
-Susan Rizzo Vincent

Dréa’s Dream: An Unfinished Dance

It is Susan’s greatest hope that her new book will provide a source of inspiration for many who have faced the agony of watching their own child suffer through cancer or learning disabilities – and also for those who look for ways to survive the loss of a child.This book is a testament to the power of dance!

Dréa’s Dream: An Unfinished Dance tells the inspiring story of a mother’s and daughter’s indomitable journey of triumph over childhood cancer and disabilities, only to face the ultimate challenge of unexpected loss.

Neither Susan Rizzo Vincent, nor her only child Andréa, could have foretold the turn of events that tragically changed both of their lives forever and irreversibly.

But just as dance was the driving force behind Andréa’s life, it has now become the same driving force in Susan’s as she fulfills Andréa’s lifelong goals and passion for dance through helping others.

Little did Susan know the lessons she would learn in furthering Andréa’s dreams, nor could she have ever imagined the hope and gifts such loss could bring. Dréa’s Dream: An Unfinished Dance also shares practical lessons learned about surviving the unthinkable and brings to light the power of dance to heal.

“Dréa’s Dream: An Unfinished Dance will empower parents facing the devastating news of their child’s cancer diagnosis as well as parents of any child facing disabilities. In addition, it offers inspiration to dancers, who know firsthand the therapeutic value of dance as a healing modality and to anyone who is looking for an inspiring story of a mother’s and daughter’s everlasting bond. For parents who have actually lost a child, this book provides a guiding light and offers help to find a reason to go on when such tragedy strikes.”
– Jane Seymour, Actress, Artist, Philanthropist

MEDIA AND HONORS

  • 2013 International Book Awards Finalist – Non Fiction Narrative
  • 2013 USA Best Book Awards Finalist – Non Fiction Narrative
  • Marie – The Marie Osmond Show, The Hallmark Channel
  • Keynote Speaker at the New England Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association’s Annual Conference at Leslie University
  • Women of Vision and Courage Award – Salve Regina University where she earned an Expressive Arts Institute certificate
  • GiveBack Hollywood Awards presentation
  • Women Who Inspire Us” Award – Woman’s Day magazine
  • Featured in Ladies’ Home Journal  “Ladies We Love,” Women’s World as well as the Hufffington Post
  • Outstanding Achievement Award – The American Dance Therapy Association
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Rhee Gold’s Dance Life Annual Conference
  • GFWC Women’s Club of South County – Women Making a Difference Arts Honoree
  • Open Hearts Award presented at the Inaugural Gala of Jane Seymour’s Open Hearts Foundation in Malibu, California. Susan addressed 350 attendees along with fellow honorees – Good Morning America Anchor, Robin Roberts; football legend, Emmit Smith and Jesse Billauer of Life Rolls On
    Watch Susan’s acceptance speech
  • An educator for over thirty years, Susan Rizzo Vincent has been listed in Who’s Who in American Teachers.
  • Today’s Honoree on #1 Blog for WORKS OF OTHERS
  • Daily “Points of Light Award” – George H. Bush 2017
  • 2013 International Book Awards Finalist – Non Fiction Narrative
  • 2013 USA Best Book Awards Finalist – Non Fiction Narrative
  • Marie – The Marie Osmond Show, The Hallmark Channel
  • Keynote Speaker at the New England Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association’s Annual Conference at Leslie University
  • Women of Vision and Courage Award – Salve Regina University where she earned an Expressive Arts Institute certificate
  • GiveBack Hollywood Awards presentation
  • Women Who Inspire Us” Award – Woman’s Day magazine
  • Featured in Ladies’ Home Journal  “Ladies We Love,” Women’s World as well as the Hufffington Post
  • Outstanding Achievement Award – The American Dance Therapy Association
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Rhee Gold’s Dance Life Annual Conference
  • GFWC Women’s Club of South County – Women Making a Difference Arts Honoree
  • Open Hearts Award presented at the Inaugural Gala of Jane Seymour’s Open Hearts Foundation in Malibu, California. Susan addressed 350 attendees along with fellow honorees – Good Morning America Anchor, Robin Roberts; football legend, Emmit Smith and Jesse Billauer of Life Rolls On
    Watch Susan’s acceptance speech
  • An educator for over thirty years, Susan Rizzo Vincent has been listed in Who’s Who in American Teachers.
  • Today’s Honoree on #1 Blog for WORKS OF OTHERS
  • Daily “Points of Light Award” – George H. Bush 2017

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Contact Susan for speaking engagements pertaining to:

Lessons of love, loss, hope, and healing

Starting a Memorial Foundation as a way to heal

Post Traumatic Growth

Email: SRizzoVincent@gmail.com

Phone: 401-952-2423

Susan Rizzo Vincent - Founder
Susan Rizzo Vincent - Founder

Contact Susan for speaking engagements pertaining to:

Lessons of love, loss, hope, and healing

Starting a Memorial Foundation as a way to heal

Post Traumatic Growth

Email: SRizzoVincent@gmail.com

Phone: 401-952-2423

Certainly the biggest accomplishments of the Andréa Rizzo Foundation is to have created for the first time at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center the largest and most renowned pediatric dance therapy program for children with cancer.
– Susan Rizzo Vincent

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Open Hearts Acceptance Speech