By Stacey DuFord

Now in its third year, Dancing With The Survivors® celebrates breast cancer survivors who thrive in their recovery and make a difference in the lives of other cancer patients. On October 1, nine courageous women from southeast Michigan will perform ballroom style dances with their spouses, fathers, sisters and dance professionals from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio – Bloomfield Hills at Shriners Silver Garden Event Center in Southfield. They’ll share inspiring stories of their breast cancer journeys while raising money for The Pink Fund.

“Everyone is aware of breast cancer,” says Molly MacDonald, breast cancer survivor, founder and CEO of The Pink Fund. “What they aren’t aware of is the side effect of financial toxicity. While fighting for their lives, many breast cancer patients in active treatment lose their livelihoods. Unable to work, patients often face catastrophic financial losses. Some may even stop treatment and return to work in order to pay basic bills.”

With help from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Hills, which has donated eight private dance lessons to each breast cancer survivor participating in the event, all nine survivors will support The Pink Fund’s mission by showcasing the ballroom dances they’ve been practicing all summer. Additionally, in line with The Pink Fund’s “money raised here stays here” policy, funds raised at this event will be restricted for breast cancer patients seeking financial assistance in Michigan.

Dancing in this year’s event are:

Lori Baran, Goodrich, went from Stage I to Stage IV in 2 years and is in her 3rd recurrence with the disease.

Kathleen Galligan, Detroit, says of her 2014 diagnosis, “It felt like time stopped.”

Gretchen Geist, Beverly Hills, is dancing on behalf of her mother, Laura, who lost her battle with the disease in 2012.

Brenda Kambakhsh, Oakland Township, is dancing with her husband, Manoucheher, because, “He is my true love…I am blessed to have this man with me on my journey.”

Kristy Lynch, Warren, married and mother of three children, is dancing with her dad, Anthony Andrus

Kathy Martin, Rochester Hills, is dancing with her physician, Dr. Samson Kpadenou, MD, who is a competitive ballroom dancer.

Sisters, Laura Segal, Franklin, and Carol Ziecik, Bloomfield Hills, are dancing in a quartet to DeLight’s Groove Is In the Heart.

Ty Weaver, Ypsilanti, a Pink Fund recipient was diagnosed in 2014, 10 years after losing her husband to cancer.

Each inspirational story and dance will be enhanced by costumes from award-winning costume designer, Randall Christensen, whose designs have been seen on ABC’s reality TV show, Dancing with the Stars

In addition to the ballroom dance showcase, Dancing With The Survivors® will also feature open dancing to tunes from DJ Mike Anthony, as well as small plates and cocktails.

Tickets, $150 reserved seating or $100 general admission, can be purchased at www.dancingwiththesurvivors.com/bloomfield-hills-michigan, or by calling (248) 229-4668. For more information on The Pink Fund, please visit www.ThePinkFund.org.

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