Tuesday, May 26, 2009

87-year-old Woman Can Dance Circles Around Us

From New Haven, CT register (nhregister.com):

Add Fioretta Masler to your list of inspirational people. At 87, this Hamden woman and cancer survivor can swing, samba and salsa, disco and dip with the best of them.The folks at Harborside Healthcare Arden House in Hamden saw her swoop mere inches from the floor when the folks from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio entertained during National Nursing Home Week recently.

“She’s an inspiration, a role model,” for Arden House clients, said Recreation Director Cynthia Raffone.

“They’re just amazed when she’s dancing,” Raffone said after the May 14 performance, which included the tango, bolero, fox trot and Viennese waltz.

“We try to shock them,” quipped her instructor and sometimes dance partner, Steven Powell.

Steven said that Fioretta does “a lot of great stuff” when she’s dancing, but occasionally he pushes her out of her “comfort zone. She says ‘no.’ I say ‘yes.’ She says ‘no.’ I say ‘yes.’ I win.”

Steven pulled the trump card at Arden House when he held her right arm and left leg and spun her around in the air and close to the floor to stunned applause.“I thought that was crazy,” added Fioretta.

I had met Fioretta and Steven a few years ago when they were getting ready for a dance competition. Naturally, they’ve won many awards. Photographs on the wall of the Dixwell Avenue studio show ballroom dancers in glittery gowns, and Fioretta is among the mix in various poses, even a split. You’d think she was much younger.

Fioretta’s dancing went into full swing more than a decade ago, when someone suggested she take up ballroom dancing to beat the blues after her husband died. She’s never stopped. Except for December 2005, when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. (Fioretta had already survived breast cancer in 1973.)

She had no symptoms after returning from a competition in Orlando, Fla., but had postponed a mammogram and a colonoscopy. She had the tests, and her doctor immediately scheduled her for surgery on Dec. 8.“I thought it was the end of my life. I was bawling. This was Christmastime and my daughters were coming in. The tumor was so large the surgeon told me he had to open my tummy. I told him he couldn’t go above my belly button because of my gowns. Now, the incision is only about this long,” Fioretta said, holding up her fingers about 5 inches apart.

She started chemotherapy in February 2006 with your oncologist and mine, Dr. Johanna LaSala. “She’s doing great. She’s grateful she can still perform. She’s really delightful. She’s a superstar,” LaSala said.

Since the surgery, Fioretta says she doesn’t dance as well, but mere two-left-feet mortals such as myself could only pray to be one-24th as good as her on the dance floor. Yet, she is positive. “Faith and attitude brought me back.”

Steven says that Fioretta is a very determined individual whose got tremendous drive. She loves to perform and does a great job, he said.“She won’t let anything stop her, and if something does stop her, she steps right over it and keeps on going. Whether it’s breast cancer, colon cancer, knee aches or hip pain; it doesn’t matter. She loads up on Motrin and away she goes,” he said.

1 comment:

メル友募集 said...

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