Cancer patients dance with doctors to raise money


A special group of girls will dance at this year’s Nebraska Dance Festival. 

The girls were all cancer patients at Nebraska Medicine at one point, but they’re also fighters who want to help other young patients feel better while staying at the hospital. 

“So often kids don’t have toys, they don’t have books … they’re in a hospital bed,” Dance Instructor Rebekah Pasqualetto said. 

That’s why Pasqualetto’s dance company, Vintage Ballroom, partnered with the Child Life Charity this year.

The girls will perform a routine with their doctors at the festival to help raise money for other children who are too sick to live at home.

The money raised will help purchase gifts, books, and games for patients who are currently staying at the hospital. 

Pasqualetto says the dance is also giving the girls a chance to get active. 

“This is the first time in about a year that some of these girls had a chance to move, not just exercise but like move and show expression through their bodies,” Pasqualetto said. 

For Bone Marrow Transplant Dr. Sachit Patel, the dance is an opportunity for his patient, Rayley, to see him in another light. 

“It’s fun, it gets them out [and] shows that yeah we have cancer in the background but it doesn’t stop us from doing these wonderful things in life that we wanna do,” Dr.Patel said. 

Dr. Patel started treating Rayley last year. 

“Her leukemia’s in remission,” He said. She still has a little bit of a long road to go in terms of treatments but it’s a wonderful wonderful thing to say, that Rayley your cancer is undetectable, it’s not there and we’re here enjoying these wonderful events, together.”

“Every time they come in, they’re just so happy to be here and they’re so bubbly,” Pasqualetto said. You kind of forget that they’re going through treatments because of how happy they are every time you see them.” 

The girls will perform with their doctors at the Nebraska Dance Festival, which is being held at the Hilton Inn Doubletree in downtown Omaha. 

The Child Life Charity event starts at noon on Saturday. 

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