Written by: Jeremy Baumhower
Meet Valory Newton. She is a 9 year-old beautiful girl from Walbridge, a fourth grader at Lake Elementary, and a dancer from The Dance Factory. Valory is the daughter of Dyana, and Tom, has two older sisters and a younger brother.
Val’s been dancing for 5 years, over half of her life. Cancer is trying it’s best to make sure she doesn’t step, ball change ever again.
Last month, Valory was dancing with a lower left leg that had been bothering her throughout the Summer– the parents thought it was a combination of growing and dancing. “One minute her leg would be hurting, the next she was on the trampoline” her mom, Dyana, recalls. It wasn’t until early November that her pain increased, her lower leg had unusually swollen… that made her mom, who’s also an E.R. nurse, take her in to get it looked at by Doctors.
On November 26th, after numerous visits to various doctors, the family traveled to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The family’s worst fears has been confirmed– Valory has osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in her left fibula.
Her mom told me the best scenario is they remove the tumor that is wrapped around a nerve and her left fibula.. “The fibula only supports 18% of your body’s weight. The nerve that will be removed will cause Val to have ‘foot drop’, which means she will lose the ability to point or flex her foot. She will be able to learn to walk again after 6 months of rehab.”
There is also a chance that Valory may lose her lower leg completely.
Valory will first undergo chemotherapy starting Friday morning. This type of Chemo will cause this beautiful dancer to lose her hair.
This news would be devastating for any 9 year-old girl, but Valory has dreamed of a way to outsmart her chemo.
Valory wanted to cut her hair off and make it into a wig… she wants to wear her own hair again. Her family found out it takes about $2000 and around eighteen- 10″ ponytails of hair.
Last night at 5:30 PM, Valory struck the first blow in her upcoming battle. Valory and three of her friends cut off their hair in a celebration to begin the campaign of making this wig.
The wig is a perfect distraction for a 9 year-old girl and her young friends. It’s also a perfect vehicle for the community to show their love and support. Her “dance sisters” and their families are trying to raise the $2,000 to pay for her wig.
They set up a GoFundMe site in Valory’s name.
They have also organized a cut-a-thon to collect the other ponytails of hair, this Saturday from 11-3 at Modern Chic Salon on Airport HWY.
A couple weekends ago, Kelly Clark, a family friend and photographer from Josie Rae Photography, offered her services to capture Valory before her battle began.
The 9 year-old girl chose a couple of dance outfits and mashed them together for the photo session. But before it had even started she wanted something written on her forearms. In black sharpie, you read her words and see her spirit.
Valory didn’t want to be identified by the disease in her body. She wanted to be identified by who she is.. a “Fighting Dancer”.
In July, this 9 year-old Walbridge girl was in Sandusky competing in Nationals with her Dance Factory team, this month she’s in Columbus battling cancer– that is very essence of character people from Northwest Ohio is known for.
My hope is that our community will step forward and make sure this child will be able to wear her hair again. It seems almost basic.
No child should ever have to deal with cancer or watch their friend battle it. Let’s show all of these dancers and dreamers what a community means, and how we are there for each other.
It’s never too young to witness the size of our community’s heart… Let’s teach them about love.
May God Bless Valory and her family. Cancer may take her leg, but it will never steal who she is, a dancer.
To Make a Difference and to contribute to helping buy her new hair… please visit http://www.gofundme.com/hxch5k
To get updates about Valory please LIKE the FB Page Valory Newton – Support Our Dancer in Her Battle With Cancer