Ballerina Uses Dance to Help Her Face a Scary Diagnosis Head-On

Maggie Kudirka is relying on her advanced ballet training to help get her through the biggest fight of her life. In June, the 23-year-old was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, which put her professional ballet career on hold.

Kudirka has been a dancer since the age of 4. She was performing at the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York City when she received her diagnosis, according to Today. She then moved back with her family in Ellicott City, Md., where she decided to fill her spare time by sharing her journey on Facebook. Her page, Bald Ballerinaseeks to bring attention to breast cancer, while spreading an important message:

“I also wanted to make young women aware that breast cancer can strike anyone at any age, even physically fit young women who follow a healthy lifestyle like I have always done,” she wrote on her YoungCaring page, which she uses to help raise money to pay for her treatment.

To date, the Bald Ballerina Facebook page has more than 2,500 likes. It’s become a place for people to follow Kudirka’s journey, share their experiences and give support.

Bald Ballerina has been the best medicine for Maggie,” her mom, Aldona Kudirka, told Today. “She was not accustomed to having so much down time. She now has something to look forward to every day and she has grown more optimistic with every message she has received.”

Kudirka hasn’t given up ballet, though — she still takes classes whenever possible. And she remembers what dance has taught her — discipline, patience, a tolerance for pain, grace — when she goes in for treatments.

You can watch Kudirka’s dancing in the video below and follow her journey at the Bald Ballerina Facebook page.

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