Dréa's Dream Blog - Dance,
Healing and Hope by Susan Rizzo Vincent
Dréa's Dream pediatric dance therapy program has promoted healing for children with cancer and special needs and is funded by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation. It has also inspired dancers to combine their love of dance with compassion.
We look forward to shared stories of dance, healing and hope.
This story is one that moves me deeply and I know it will move you too!
Julie Reed was 16 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma of the liver. She underwent intense chemotherapy, leaving her tired and sick in bed most of the time. As an active young dancer, she found it hard to cope with her inability to move as she once did. Our team of dance therapists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center coaxed Julie into trying dance therapy during one of her in-patient stays. Julie wrote in a letter to The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, “Even when I couldn’t get out of bed, these wonderful therapists were able to transport me out of the hospital, into the sky, the ocean, a sandy beach, wherever my fancy would take me that day.” The sessions let Julie express how she was feeling through movement.
In an interview on ABC TV Eyewitness Newscast that aired on both coasts, Julie reflects on her experiences with dance therapy and the Andréa Rizzo Foundation. “I don’t think anyone has had this kind of impact on me before. It made the complete difference in me getting through with a positive attitude,” she said. Receiving a much-deserved trip to Hollywood, meeting the cast and crew of Dancing with the Stars with her Mom and Board members of The Andréa Rizzo Foundation at her side, Julie shared her thoughts of the surprise trip on the newscast: “It’s one thing to just be here in the first place, but to be here with the people who have done so much for me and really changed my life…it’s incredible!”
Julie Reed and her family have remained good friends of The Andréa Rizzo Foundation. Julie has attended many of our fundraising events and has been an ambassador for Dréa’s Dream, speaking on our behalf. Julie not only visits with patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to serve as a beacon of hope, but she also encourages dancers to hold dance events to benefit our cause. Julie’s encounter with cancer has turned into an inspiration for so many. She is currently a senior at Cornell University majoring in Drama and just returned from a semester in Turkey having landed an acting role there. Julie looks forward to a bright and healthy future. It is our hope that all of her many dreams come true. Knowing Julie’s tenacious spirit – I have no doubt that they will !
Hope – to wish for something with expectation of fulfillment
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