Breast cancer survivors inspire through dance

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – It takes a lot of practice and courage to dance in front of hundreds of people when you’ve never done it before.

Heather and Hardy have plenty of the latter since a life changing experience.

Hardy says he’ll never forget when his doctor told him he was sending him to get a mammogram.

He said he replied a mamma what?

Heather says you hate to call it an opportunity, referring to her cancer diagnosis, but she says it makes you relook at your life.

Heather Renehan beat breast cancer in 2009.

Now she’s learning the samba.

Hardy Graves had a scare after finding a lump in 2006.

He says he was scared as anyone else, worried about the future.

Now the future holds the Fox Trot.

They and eight other breast cancer survivors will perform during a dance exhibition at the Pink Tie Gala which raises money for the Richmond Affiliate of Susan G. Komen.

They’ve practiced with their partners during almost 100 lessons at Rigby’s Dance Studio.

Heather’s dance partner says within one day she had learned the routine.

Hardy’s dance partner says Hardy is so determined calling him hard working.

She says he’s on it. Eleanor Robertson, the owner of Rigby’s Jig Dance Studio says she thinks it’s such a good fit for cancer survivors to experience something so uplifting.

And inspirational for everyone watching.

Hardy and Heather also do volunteer work for Susan G. Komen.

They say it allows them to share the lessons they’ve learned and they don’t mean the dance lessons.

Heather says she’s learned to slow down, to enjoy life, because it may not be here tomorrow.

Hardy says he tells other men to put on their big boy pants and get tested.

He says it’s better to know that not know.

River City Charities has organized the Pink Tie Gala since 2008.

The Pink Tie Gala was be held Saturday Oct. 23.

It runs from 7-30 pm to 12-30 am at the Richmond Marriott Downtown.

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