Dancers vs. Cancer fundraiser supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
A local doctor and the cancer patient she successfully treated are now taking to the dance floor together to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Their fundraising campaign kicks off March 11 and runs through May 20, with a number of public events in San Diego.
When Scripps Clinic oncologist Dr. Irene Hutchins first met her patient Steve Valentine in 2016, neither of them knew they shared a common bond as former national champion ballroom dancers.
Dr. Hutchins said when Steve became aware of their special connection, it was like a spark was lit, and Steve became more animated and upbeat – no small feat, given that he was suffering from an aggressive and rapidly progressing form of lymphoma. The two made a bedside pact to go ballroom dancing together once Steve recovered from his illness.
Steve did indeed recover and in 2017, the pair performed a ballroom dance routine together as part of Cancer Survivors Day at Scripps Green Hospital, putting their special connection on full display for hundreds of fellow cancer survivors, friends and family in attendance. Their performance was also covered nationally by the TV program “Inside Edition” and the pair realized their dancing could continue to benefit others.
Now Dr. Hutchins has been nominated to run for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “2018 National Woman of the Year,” and she and Steve will use there dance act to try to raise the most funds in the U.S. Funds will go to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s charitable mission to advance blood cancer research and ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.