This season on Dancing with the Stars some of us met Valerie Harper for the first time. I personally remember her from her time on the Mary Tyler Moore show and her spin-off Rhoda. (What can I say I was a little adult as a child). What I found inspiring and captivating about her was that she had very recently been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and had been given only months to live.
I was inspired by the fact that she continued to smile and enjoy life. Not only was she going about life as usual but she was also trying something new for her by participating in the DWTS competition. I know that the contest is supposed to be about dance ability but I don't know how you can judge someones dancing without taking into consideration what they go through to dance (if you are privy to this). Valerie discussed symptoms from the cancer on the show. In an article on FoxNews an expert explained that "Symptoms can vary from headaches and difficulty walking to double vision and facial weakness or weakness or numbness of arms or legs, depending on which areas of the body are most affected".
One of the most wonderful dances I have seen was performed by a little girl that had been involved in a car accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury. She had formerly been a competitive dancer with Starbound Talent Competition being one of her competition stops. She has a recurring dance at each competition and the last time that I saw her dance it brought tears to my eyes. It was not the ability of her dance but the improbability. The fact that she could have perished in that car and walks with the assistance of mobility devices and she STILL dances.
It is all about perseverance in the face of massive adversity. What would you do if diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer? Some would slip into a depression, avoid the diagnosis, some would stay in the hospital searching for a cure, others would check off their bucket list. Valerie decided to give us all hope. When she spoke with People Magazine following the DWTS finale she gave her reason for doing the show "to tell people to keep moving – even if you don't get the steps, keep on moving, one foot in front of the other, as best you can".
Thank you Valerie.
I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Advil®, as part of the Advil® Relief in Action campaign. I received compensation for this post. While all opinions stated are my own, I make no claims about Advil® as a product or its effectiveness.
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