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Girls in pink

Stepping up the tempo to beat cancer


By Victor Scott

 Laurel Davis (far right, standing) poses with friends
at her recent Dancer for Cancer dance camp that
raised more than $1,000 for breast cancer research.
Photos courtesy of Renee Davis.

Laurel Davis stays busy. Basketball, dance, drama, piano, soccer, softball and swimming occupy most of her time throughout the year. Recently, the 9-year-old from Houston added cancer fighting to that list.

“Last year in school we made pillows for ladies at MD Anderson with breast cancer,” says Laurel. “Since then, I’ve been thinking about what I could do to help our family and friends with breast cancer. I’ve always wanted to have a dance camp at my house for little girls and thought that would be a great way to raise money for breast cancer research.”

Laurel set the date for her Dancer for Cancer dance camp. She created a flier and designed T-shirts. She recruited friends to help coach and selected girls age 7 and younger as students.

 Laurel and her grandmother, Laurel Lee Domingue.

“For weeks the coaches practiced their dance on the playground at school and at our house,” says Renee Davis, Laurel’s mother. “I mean, these girls were so committed.”

Word soon spread and 20 students arrived at the Dancer for Cancer dance camp on Laurel’s front lawn. The two-hour event included pink-colored food and drinks, as well as full makeup for each girl.

“We felt so cool because the little girls were so excited to be hanging out with the ‘big’ girls,” says Laurel.

The camp ended with a performance for the coaches and students’ parents.

“Our whole front yard was covered with little girls in pink,” says Renee. “The parents thought it was just adorable.”

Laurel says she’s very proud about the success of her first dance camp, which raised $1,070.

“So many of our loved ones have battled cancer with the support of MD Anderson,” says Renee. “Laurel’s seen firsthand what that’s like through the care my mother’s receiving there as she endures her third type of cancer. I like to think that Laurel’s efforts are a unique way to recognize and thank the incredible people who work there for all they’ve given us.”

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center