West Bloomfield resident Roz Fantich, a breast cancer survivor, knows that she is a fortunate woman.
Fantich didn't have to work while she was ill and could "take all the strength I had to heal. I remember going to treatment with women who had to get up and go to work right afterwards."
On Sept. 26, Fantich will join other volunteers for "Dancing with the Survivors," a benefit for The Pink Fund, which provides those in active treatment with up to 90 days of financial assistance to cover non-medical expenses, like health insurance premiums, housing, transportation and utilities.
Held at ArtVan Furniture in Warren, the event features breast cancer survivors from southeast Michigan who will partner with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studios Bloomfield Hills. Fantich said she has been working with her dance partner Donald Westphal since July on the cha-cha.
"I'm not a dancer at all," she said. "I approached learning to dance as a challenge, and I was pleasantly surprised. I really felt alive, and that's an incredible feeling for a survivor."
Fantich was volunteering at a hospice when her cancer was diagnosed in 2000. She has also supported ALS organizations, the
Committee for Stem Cell Research, the For A Day Foundation, Imerman’s
Angels and North Star Reach, among many other organizations.
"I feel that I've been extremely and uniquely fortunate to have learned one of life's most important lessons, and that's how good it feels to help others," she said.
Dancing with the Survivors starts at 6 p.m. Sept. 26, and tickets are available at thepinkfund.org.