Brenda Hawkes is more afraid of dancing than cancer. “You’re in front of people, exposing yourself. At the same time, it is a gift. I’ve learned to like my body again and I know I won’t fall apart. Dancing is allowing me to really feel alive again.” …
Brenda was diagnosed with Stage 3B, triple negative breast cancer in 2006, which spread to her lymph nodes, leading to a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. … She tried to continue her work as Executive Director for a non-profit and maintain her life, but eventually lost her job as a result of her diagnosis. Although devastated by the job loss, Brenda saw it as a gift. Her company didn’t want her, but her family did. “I got to take care of me.” … Her cancer was debilitating, taking three years to recover. “I’m much more free now and more cautious about how and where I spend my time. Today, Brenda has a job she loves as the Patient Advocacy Manager at Diplomat. … On Dancing With The Survivors, Brenda says, “I’m loving taking the dance lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studio - Bloomfield Hills, MI to prepare for the event. We are about halfway through the dance choreography and I think I am getting it. Now, if I can just put it all together! How do they do this?!"
On October 2, Brenda and her Fred Astaire dance partner, Donald Westphal, will put it all together when they Hustle to “Stayin’ Alive” by the cast of Glee.