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Peekskill Cancer Patient Aims To Help Others Via Dance

Deidre Barnes is participating in Dancing with the Survivors in White Plains.
Deidre Barnes is participating in Dancing with the Survivors in White Plains. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Matt DeMargel

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- A Peekskill woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer will be putting on her dancing shoes in White Plains for a good cause.

Deidre Barnes is participating in Dancing with the Survivors on Thursday Oct. 2, a fundraiser that pairs breast cancer survivors and dance professionals from Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Tarrytown. The event is being held at Stickley Audi and Co. at 50 Tarrytown Road in White Plains.

Proceeds benefit The Pink Fund, a charity that provides people battling breast cancer with up to 90 days of financial assistance to cover nonmedical expenses.

Barnes was asked to participate by her oncology group at Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt.

"I am so thankful to them," Barnes said. "The ballroom dancing lessons have been so much fun. They are so wonderful. It's a big exciting time for all of us."

After feeling pain in her arm, Barnes visited her doctor in Peekskill, where she had a mammogram. The results came back positive for breast cancer, with the cancer having spread to her lymph nodes.

Barnes said she became very ill from the chemotherapy, but the doctors have been giving her great news since she began treatment and gave her the OK to participate in the event.

"I want to be able to help someone out that is facing financial difficulty," Barnes said. "Maybe I can make their burden a little bit easier."

After being unable to stand up straight for several months, Barnes said she is excited to be able to go out and dance.

"I am so blessed," Barnes said.

Barnes said she would tell other cancer patients to never give up.

"You have to keep fighting every day," Barnes said. "One day leads to the next. You have to get dressed and put your best foot forward. Nothing lasts forever. Before you know it, you're getting through and gotten through the worst."

Dancing at Fred Astaire Dance Studios has made Barnes feel better.

"The atmosphere there is a like a family," Barnes said. "I am having fun. I find myself smiling. It's building my stamina and strength. I've been meeting nice people. It's just a wonderful event to participate in."

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