Each week, DWTS features one dance where the dancer is "dancing through adversity," and Tuesday night's dance with Tayla Kelley took it to the next level. A 13-year-old battling a strange immune disorder, Tayla only has a 60 percent of surviving to her 18th birthday, but she plans to spend every year she has dancing.
She is an inspiration to all parents who have children battling illnesses, all dancers who get stage fright (she certainly doesn't!), and all people in general. Kelley has Primary Immune Deficiency Disease, a disease that affects her immune system and requires weekly blood treatments.
She says dancing has saved her, telling DWTS:
I love dancing because it takes my mind off everything else going on in my life: my doctor's appointments and surgeries and treatments.
It isn't an easy road for Kelley, but she put all that aside, dancing just as well as the professionals on the show. How does she avoid stage fright? She dances "like nobody's watching." And dancing alongside Lacey Schwimmer and Chelsie Hightower, that is no small task.
As a parent, while listening to Tayla's mom discuss the treatments she must give her daughter and how much she would love to keep her in a bubble (any exposure to bacteria can kill her), I was moved. My children are perfectly healthy and half the time I want to keep them in a bubble.
Tayla's mom knows she can't. Why? Because Tayla loves dancing. She wants to live her whole life, short or long, as big as she can.
Every time my daughter climbs to the top of the playground equipment and my heart skips a beat, each time my son trips and falls and I have that split second where I'm scared he isn't OK, I will think of Tayla's mom and what she goes through every day with her daughter. They don't let fear hold them back.
Could the worst happen? Yes. Absolutely. But they will keep on dancing until it does. And that is the way we should all be approaching parenthood and all of our lives.
Were you inspired by Tayla?
Image via YouTube