We stepped into the magical world of Disney this week. The ballroom was hyped with all of the characters, the familiar music, and the stunning animation. Kym and I danced the quick step to Mary Poppins’ “Step in Time,” and let’s just say the quick step won.
We were really disappointed to get 6s—our lowest scores to date—but I get it. We are halfway through this challenge and the competition is getting fierce. I may not be a natural dancer, but I’ve learned a lot and I can do better. I got off on the wrong foot (literally, not metaphorically!), and it went downhill from there. I still don’t know what we are dancing to next week… but after a fun group rehearsal last night and some time to reflect, we will come back and be better than ever.
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More importantly I wanted to leverage this platform to give my love and support to the Wang Family. Two weeks ago, I blogged about my friend from the Cancer Kiss My Cooley organization, Daniel Wang. Daniel overcame a 3.5-year battle with brain cancer, and was so excited for me to be part of this show. He came to see it live with his mom and sister, Daphne, and soaked in the entire Dancing with the Stars experience. What I didn’t know at the time was that he was facing a new battle. His cancer had returned, and shortly after going home Daniel suffered a devastating seizure. The tumor was growing rapidly, and last night I got word that it had taken Daniel from us.
I wrote in my post two weeks ago that Daniel was polite, witty, energetic, and had a passion for life that was absolutely infectious. Those things are all true—but reading them back now, the words don’t do him justice. He’s a champion of spirit, and someone that I have been so blessed to call my friend.
Throughout this journey, I have been touched by so many of your stories, from those new to North America to those who have lost a loved one—whether it be to cancer or any other reason. Thank you for sharing those moments with me. Now I ask that you share your love and positive thoughts with the Wang family. Daniel’s sister Daphne has been keeping an outstanding online journal to document his story. Please feel free to leave comments of support here.
I’d like to close off with a Maya Angelou quote that I absolutely love: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” To the Wang family: We will never forget Daniel. He inspired us, and made us all feel so special. We are better for having known him.