Dance for Saoirse!

by karen Krolak 

Kezia and Saoirse

Although I have yet to meet her, Kezia Fitzgerald, a friend of Caitlin Meehan's from childhood continues to inspire me. When we began curating events for Against the Odds: Imperfect(ive) Experiments in 2012, we had planned to include a larger photography exhibit. Kezia was one of the photographers who applied and her time lapse images of dancers were thrilling. Knowing just snippets of her personal struggles, I was impressed that she was capturing moments of such ethereal vitality. I was saddened that we were not able to incorporate her photos into the festival when it was rescheduled but perhaps she will be willing to share some with us on this blog.

Kezia was a new mother when she discovered that she had cancer in 2011. A few months later her vivacious daughter, Saoirse, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a totally different form of cancer. While Kezia's cancer went into remission, Saoirse lost her battle with Neuroblastoma in December of that year. Saorise was just 18 months old. I can not fathom how devastating it must have been for her family to endure after that. Somehow though, they found the resolve to create the Fitzgerald Cancer Fund (FCF) to provide assistance and guidance to other families who receive a pediatric cancer diagnosis. 

Over lunch recently, Caitlin mentioned that Kezia and FCF are using dance to fund a clinical trial for a better, less toxic treatment for relapsed and refractory neuroblastoma patients. On April 5th, you can join her at the first annual Dance For Saoirse!, a 12 hour dance marathon at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter in South Boston, MA. There will be live music by local bands, dance performances by local dance schools and companies (Caitlin is rumored to be performing at 7:30!), a photo booth, origami folding, sweet treats, musical chairs, games, and much, much, more! People can still register now (but you need to do so by the stroke of midnight on April 3rd to attend) and teams can set their fundraising goals right on the event site, where supporters can donate directly to their team. For more information check out the foundation's website or their facebook page. 

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