Charity dance show at Halstead's theatre

31 May 2013

Two dance teachers from the Elizabeth School of Dance are organising a fundraising show at Halstead's Empire Theatre dedicated to love ones lost to, and currently, fighting cancer.

Half the proceeds from Stand Up and Dance on Saturday 22 June will be donated to the Mary Barron Suite at Essex County Hospital, where outpatients are given chemotherapy.

The other half will go to Stand Up To Cancer, which is linked to the charity Cancer Research UK and supports the best research teams in the UK to develop new treatments, bring cures faster and save more lives.

About 40 performers from the Elizabeth School of Dance, which is based in Colne Engaine and Halstead, will put on the song and dance show, beginning at 6pm.

They will include dance teachers Kelly Smith, 35, and Natalie Creevy, 37. Kelly's close friend Corinne Greeson, 34, of Coggleshall, has secondary breast cancer and Natalie's sister-in-law, Nicola Creevey, 37, is currently being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In addition, Kelly lost her father-in-law in November 2011 aged 58. Roger Smith had battled with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for several months, which included treatment at the Mary Barron Suite. Mrs Greeson has been treated there and Mrs Creevy is currently undergoing chemotherapy at the facility.

Mrs Smith said: "I have been inspired to produce a dance show in memory of my father-in-law who we sadly lost to cancer.

"Cancer is an awful disease that affects so many people on a day-to-day basis and by raising money through my show, I hope to make a slight difference to cancer sufferers and the loved ones that are affected.

"Roger and the family could only say good things about the Mary Barron Suite so I feel we'd like to give something back to them for their hard work and dedication.

"My friend Corinne, who has secondary breast cancer, is currently receiving the drug Herceptin, which has only been made available by such charities as Cancer Research UK. By giving money to this charity, I hope it will continue to make a difference to cancer sufferers."

Performers taking part in Stand Up and Dance will be aged between six and 37. While it will be primarily a dance show, it will include a number of songs, including the favourites of the three people who have inspired the production - Runaround Sue, Footloose and Wherever You Will Go.

Caroline Bates, Fundraising Manager of Colchester Hospitals Charity (CoHoC), said: "We were delighted to hear about the Stand Up and Dance show being organised by Kelly and Natalie to raise funds for the Mary Barron Suite.

"Their support if greatly appreciated and will make a great difference to patients being treated for cancer."

The Elizabeth School of Dance runs classes in ballet, tap and modern dance at The Ramsey College, Halstead, Colne Engaine Village Hall and Colne Engaine Scout Hut.

In 2009 the Elizabeth School raised £3,700 towards the cost of a children's heart scanner at Colchester General Hospital from two performances at the Empire Theatre called A Special Something.

Mrs Smith had wanted to help because her first daughter, Kaci, spent time on the hospital's Neonatal Unit after being born 16 weeks early on 28 March 2006 but sadly died three days later at The Royal London Hospital.

There are approximately 1,000 patient episodes of chemotherapy every month at the Mary Barron Suite (some patients may be treated more than once a month).

The unit has 18 staff - two administrators, two healthcare assistants, a chemotherapy information nurse and 13 nurses. It is named after the first matron of Essex County Hospital in the early 19th century.

* To buy tickets for Stand Up and Dance, phone the box office hotline at the Empire Theatre on 07778 025490 between 12noon and 10pm.

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