Community rallies support for teen dancer

A GoFundMe account and an upcoming fundraiser in Cloverdale aim to help 15-year-old girl fighting to recover from a stroke

A still from a video showcasing Emma Salisbury’s dance abilities.

It seems unimaginable – a 15-year-old girl with a promising future as a dancer, struck by illness, and then a debilitating stroke.

Now family, friends and dance colleagues are rallying around the Sullivan Secondary student, who dreamed of becoming a professional ballet dancer but is now fighting to recover, hoping to walk and dance again.

Until a health crisis intervened this spring, Emma Salisbury was well on her way to realizing her dreams.

A dedicated and hard-working student of ballet at Panorama School of Dance, Salisbury had graced the stage as Clara in The Nutcracker  with the Royal City Youth Ballet, and starred as Elsa in the school’s production of Frozen.

Her talent had taken her to Toronto to study, and she was set to attend Arts Umbrella this year, according to family friend Kelly Ewing, who has set up an online fundraising account for the girl.

A health crisis struck out of nowhere the end of the past school year, when she became unexpectedly and gravely ill, developing kidney failure.

Salisbury was diagnosed with lupus, and began chemotherapy – a course of treatment it was hoped would suppress the autoimmune disease.

She suffered a stroke following her first treatment, suffering paralysis on her left side, leaving her unable to walk, or swallow on her own.

She spent the summer in ICU at B.C. Children’s Hospital – her parents Caitlin and Derek at her side.

“They have been tirelessly advocating for Emma and researching to get Emma the best rehab possible in a system that is strapped,” writes Ewing.

The teen is now undergoing outpatient rehab therapy using a state-of-the-art technology called Myndtec.

Treatments cost more than $4,000 and aren’t covered by the Medical Services Plan.

The Emma Salisbury: Dance Again campaign on GoFundMe.com has so far raised more than $21,700 – more than half way to the goal.

Clare Materi, a mom of a long-time dancer at Panorama School of Dance, Rowan, is holding a fundraiser at her fitness studio, Live2Play in Cloverdale this Sunday (Nov. 15).

Materi says Salisbury – who worked as a student teacher at her daughter’s dance school, helping younger students hone their skills – is showing a great deal of courage and determination in facing the biggest challenge of her life.

Materi is running four, 30-minute jumping sessions (low-impact, choreographed routines done on personal sized trampolines to music).

The first session starts at 11 a.m. and the last is at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $10.

Live2Play is located at 200 5858 176 Street. Call 778-838-8349 to reserve a spot.

 

Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook. View our print edition online.

Just Posted

Man found face-down beside motorcycle on 24 Avenue

Shortly after their arrival, Surrey firefighters had the man sitting and speaking

Coffee with a Cop held in South Surrey

‘Sensational media,’ hazards, and inner-workings of RCMP discussed

White Rock taxpayers on the hook for Memorial Park upgrades delay

Mayor says the province is ‘waffling’ on granting permission to go ahead with project

Surrey School District refuses to rent Bell Centre for Parents United Canada rally

Group is seeking court injunction to stop an LGBTQ program in public schools

EXCLUSIVE: Surrey collecting fees on more than 2,400 illegal suites, documents reveal

That works out to more than $1 million in fees collected annually

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Surrey Eagles prep for road tilt with first-place Vernon Vipers

After a Friday night game against Wenatchee, the Birds take aim at BCHL leaders Saturday

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Most Read