Dance the Night Away
At Going Beyond the Pink’s Bust a Move Dance Party on September 30, you can show off your moves and support a worthy cause.
Kara Kenan says Going Beyond the Pink, the nonprofit organization she created for patients and survivors of breast cancer, is about bringing people together to connect and have fun. One of the best ways to fulfill that goal, as the promotional flyer states, is to “put on your Boogie Shoes and Shake Your Groove Thing” at the 2nd Bust a Move Dance Party on September 30.
“It’s absolutely the best dance party people will ever go to, and it’s the most fun fundraising event,” Kenan says. “The first year was so much fun that people literally didn’t get off the dance floor until the last song finished.”
Entertaining DJ Sammy Figgs provides the music with a flair, while appetizers, snacks and desserts from local restaurants are available to nibble on near a cash bar. Organizers have developed creative ways to distribute door prizes, which include AirPods, golf packages, beauty products and an array of other items. One of them is to have Figgs ask a trivia question. The first person to reach the microphone and give the correct answer wins.
An activity that raises money for Going Beyond the Pink is the Wall of Wine. An assortment of reds and whites of various varietals and styles are wrapped in paper to hide their labels. Patrons pay $20 and choose the bottle they want from the wall. Retail prices range from $10 to $100.
To bring the serious side of the fundraiser to patrons’ attention is the segment where local patients and survivors tell their stories and explain how Going Beyond the Pink has made a difference in their lives.
“One poignant story is a male breast cancer survivor,” Kenan says. “He has been managing the disease for six years.”
Kenan’s breast cancer story began nine years ago. She was 35 years old, her daughter was four, and she had been married for two weeks when she felt a lump in her breast. The diagnosis was stage 3 cancer. She received chemotherapy for six months and 30 radiation treatments. Complications developed, and she had a hysterectomy.
“To go to a traditional support group with a young child was challenging,” she says. “I couldn’t get the information about how to improve my health and wellness. I was frustrated. I wanted to heal and be my best self.”
She resigned her position as a college English teacher and founded Going Beyond the Pink in 2017.
“My own journey showed me where the gaps were, and I used that information to start,” she says. “[This organization] goes beyond the pink ribbons and provides meaningful support and shows the reality of the experience of breast cancer.”
Kenan focuses on three areas: health and wellness education, support resources and financial assistance. She has gone further and received certification from George Washington University as an Oncology Patient Navigator.
“It’s similar to a social worker who really understands the breadth of resources available,” she says.
She listens to what patients are experiencing and can identify the resources they need to help make their journey easier. She explains that patients may need special pillows, bras or breast forms and often have surgical drains attached that make it difficult to take a shower. She suggests a lanyard to wear around the neck that clips to the drains so patients can shower hands free. “Simple things like that are impactful in the moment and can really make a difference,” Kenan says.
Her husband, Doug, has been supportive throughout her journey, including her dedication to Going Beyond the Pink.
Bust a Move Dance Party is another way to support breast cancer patients and survivors and make others aware of the disease.
About the dance, Kenan says, “You come, you dance, you party.”
Want to go?
Bust a Move Dance Party
September 30, 7 to 11 pm
WWAY Event Center, 1024 Magnolia Village Way, Leland
Tickets at https://secure.givelively.org/event/going-beyond-the-pink/bust-a-move-dance-party-2022
Going Beyond the Pink, P.O. Box 1770, Leland, NC 28451, (910) 667-2111 goingbeyondthepink.org