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Joyce DiChiaro, In Her Own Words

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

Dance for the Cure truly make a difference in people's lives. DFC recipient Joyce DiChiaro shares her personal journey and reflects on how kindness and compassion help to build resilience and gratitude. Joyce's story is below.

"In late November of 2019 I felt a lump in my right breast..."

Following what seemed like an endless amount of doctors, tests and scans, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. It had spread to my spine. My treatment plan was an aggressive one. Several months of chemotherapy, surgery in the summer of 2020 (during the Covid pandemic) radiation to treat my spine and 2nd surgery in the fall. Obviously, this all seemed chaotic, scary and overwhelming! So, I had to decide how to manage and move ahead for both my physical and emotional pain. I kept saying to myself, my family and friends.. I will give cancer 1 year of my life but that’s it!

Dance for the cure was one of the first organizations that reached out to help in any way they could. To say I have struggled through many things in my life would be an understatement. Most recently at the time of my diagnosis my twin sister Joan suddenly passed away at age 53 on December 1, 2019.

"While I felt so alone and unsure of my future, this organization was there."

Dance for the cure restored my faith in knowing I was part of a group of strong women who had known what I was dealing with.

  • My personal response to all of this has a few takeaways for others. Fight back and find all the strength you have.

  • Accept what you need to deal with each day because they may each be different and difficult in their own way.

  • There is a light at the end that enhances your perspective on life and love and family.

  • I will never let cancer define me as a person. It is something that I needed to be focused on and dealt with at this one point in my life.

So... it is exactly 1 year later and that’s It!

I’m feeling good most of the time, back to work and raising my teenage boy. I will forever be grateful for all the support I was given by so many people and of course Dance For The Cure! ~ Joyce DiChiaro


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