In the young adult cancer world, the word “growth” has come to represent some very scary things: recurrence, invasion, and spread. It isn’t often enough that we get to recognize a different type of growth in the cancer community: resilience, perspective, and humanity.
That’s what we got when Localife Toronto went to YACC alumnus Daniel Stolfi’s Cancer Can’t Dance Like This 10 year anniversary show. Twenty YACCers helped fill a packed house at Toronto’s Great Hall theatre. Dan performed a hilarious and stunning show about his own cancer experience, from his diagnosis at 25, to standing in his survivorship 10 years later.
There were no harder laughs than from our section. Everyone had some part of the show they connected with. For me, it was the awkward fertility preservation stories. Daniel joked about his parents footing the bill for their frozen grandchildren, something I also pass to my parents. There was really a moment for everyone.
And it felt really good to see someone making something so powerful and hilarious out of their experience. And to see where he has grown in his survivorship. From Dan once boldly jaywalking, daring danger to mess with him after he battled cancer, to now settling in, accepting, and living with the knowledge that he’s going to be around. It is a lot of change and growth to not just live like you are dying, but to now live like you are living.
But my favourite part? At the end of the night, YACCers departed together. We had people carpooling and travelling together when they had arrived alone. We also had people go on to cheer the Raptors on in an electrified city. Dan’s show sparked real connections.