Our love for Heather M. Weeks is the inspiration for the Hope for Heather Organization.
The name, Hope for Heather, comes from the name of the amazing benefit held to raise money for Heather's cancer treatment cost. The August 2008 benefit was sponsored by Tawn Marie's Dance Center booster club. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of colon cancer on June 10, 2008 at age 23. She had the tumor removed on July 1, but the cancer had already spread to her liver and bone marrow.
Heather fought gallantly against the cancer and posted daily and weekly updates on her Heatherina blog. The readership of this blog grew to thousands as she posted honest and courageous accounts of her battle.
She worked at the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) as assistant to CEO, Elizabeth Howard, throughout her battle with cancer. Heather was committed to spreading the word about ovarian cancer because there are often few symptoms before the cancer has progressed to stage III or IV.
The success of the benefit and the support of her employer OCRF allowed Heather to fight back against the medical bills that accompany cancer treatment. Heather was a student, successful competitive dancer, and then a student teacher at Tawn Marie’s Dance Center. She often said she felt truly alive when she was dancing.
She attended the University of Buffalo in the honors program majoring in dance. She graduated in three years, summa cum laude. She toured with the Caribbean tour of Sesame Street Live after graduation. She then moved to New Jersey to allow frequent auditions for Broadway shows or Broadway tours; rooming with a Liverpool High School classmate, Jenny Ko. She worked as a character actor at Mars 2112 on Broadway at 50th Street. It was here she met her fiancé and soul mate. Heather passed on November 14, 2008 at 24 after a new chemo treatment caused a blood clot that lodged in the base of her brain. She passed quietly in her sleep surrounded by prayers and family members. Click here to view Heather's dance photos and memorial service.
See all Heather's Sesame Live travel videos on her
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