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Harder than Cancer
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Dancing Is Harder Than Fighting Cancer

December 3, 2015 | Rose Bowl

Harder than Cancer“Mastering a new dance move and making your technique on it look easy … that’s hard. When you get chemo, you only have to think about medicines,” declares Peyton Richardson.

You didn’t imagine that. Peyton says she thinks dancing is harder than fighting cancer. “Yes, most definitely.”

Medicine Behind the Moves

Peyton is dancing with the full support of her oncologist. Texas Children’s Hospital’s Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer says, “Ballet is what keeps her going and gives her the fight to fight the leukemia—so that the big battle is how long you can stay on your toes, and the smaller battle is leukemia.”

Dr. Dreyer says once she realized how much Peyton loves to dance, she knew her patient needed to get back at it as soon as possible while still being safe. “When a child has already done something that’s tough and requires focus and motivation and courage and pain and all those things that ballerinas have to go through, then leukemia’s not an easy battle, but you’ve already got a background of strength. And that strength is absolutely what gets you through the chemotherapy.”

Not Backing Down

For her part, Peyton isn’t backing down from her declaration. “When you dance, there are about 100 things going through your mind to make it look perfect. I know it looks easy, but it’s not, and that’s the tricky part: to make it look easy and beautiful. Ballet is way harder (than fighting cancer), by a lot.”

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