Despite the exhausting, painful side effects of chemotherapy, a Dallas mother battling cancer is still dancing and smiling, and millions of people on social media are cheering her on.
Ana-Alecia Ayala, 32, posted a video on Facebook and Instagram of her dancing with “chemo buddy” Danielle Andrus to the song “Juju On That Beat” by Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall. By Thursday afternoon — two days after it was posted — the Facebook video had been viewed by more than 4 million people.
“We want to show the world that dancing and laughter is the best medicine,” Ayala wrote.
Since 2015, Ayala has been fighting a rare tumor that spread from her uterus into her ovaries and stomach. She underwent surgery after the initial diagnosis, but doctors found a new tumor on her spleen in July.
“This treatment has proven to be very aggressive causing side effects such as muscle failure, shakes and hallucinations, but at my most recent scan in September, the chemo is working and my tumor has shrunk!!” she posted on Facebook Wednesday. “Rhabdomyosarcoma picked the wrong girl to mess with!!”
Ayala, who said she hopes people stop seeing cancer as a death sentence, filmed the video during a chemo session at the Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital in Dallas.
“I also want to encourage cancer patients loved ones to step out of their comfort zones (as Danielle did for me) and be silly, have a dance party, be present in the moment and have a great time,” she told KVUE-TV in Austin. “Laughter is the best medicine and I hope to make people smile, even at the expense of my bad dance moves.”
Ayala has created a GoFundMe account to help pay for her medical costs.