DANCING WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS
Ryan Morissette is truly an inspiration to us all. This young dancer not only
rips it up on stage when he performs, but he spends time sharing his art through teaching other kids. He also helps raise money for various charities, AND, what a powerful role model he is to guys who might want to dance but are not always encouraged to because of old gender stereotypes.
Ryan dances at a very high level, competing, training, performing, all the while battling a disease that he has had since he was a child. But Dance, for Ryan, is healing. It is his medicine.
“I have tattooed on my arm ‘Music is my cure’ and that’s exactly how I feel when I am dancing,” says Ryan Morrissette.
[When I am dancing], “I feel like I don’t have CF. I can just be myself.”
CF is short for a fatal genetic disorder known as Cystic Fibrosis.
When Morrissette was diagnosed at age two, doctors told him he wouldn’t live past age eight but he is defying the odds as a professional hip-hop dancer and going strong now at age 20.
“I can have fun. It’s just the stage, the crowd, me. There’s no CF.”
There is no cure for the disease but his friends have started fundraising to help keep him dancing.
Cystic Fibrosis mainly affects the lungs and digestive system, filling up the organs with thick sticky mucus.
At the age of eight, Morrissette discovered hip-hop.
“When I found hip-hop it was like I could finally express myself,” he explained.
“When I’m on stage, I don’t worry about the pills I have to take, or when my physiotherapy appointment is, or when my next hospital stay will be, It’s just me, the lights, the music, and the audience.”
That passion for dance has resulted in some pretty big accolades for the young athlete.
Morrissette was recently the winner of the inaugural Cultural Architect Award at a ceremony in Vancouver.
The award was presented by B.Brand Apparel, a company owned by dancer and choreographer Sarah Brinson.
It was an award for “people who have provided a lot to their community and promoted the profession they’re a part of, as well as exemplary achievement in something that you aren’t expected to necessarily achieve,” .
A world-champion dancer and a top 3 finalist on Canada’s Got Talent in 2012 with his dance troupe Freshh, Morrissette fit the criteria, and he is now preparing for another major step in his career.
This October, he’s heading to Italy, as an assistant captain for Team Canada to represent Canada at the World hip-hop championships!
He was one of 24 people to make the team, after successfully auditioning in Burnaby.
However, the trip itself doesn’t come free and there is a cost element involved.
The total amount needed for the trip is $5000.00
Morrissette’s message is simple:
“Everyone can do what they want to do,” he said.
He added that too often, kids get told they can’t do something, and that’s it, they won’t do it.
Not in his case though.
“More people need to not be taken down by what other people say. Just go for it and whatever happens, happens,” he said.
And Ryan has made big things happen through dance, and his positive attitude. He has reminded me that we all have a choice on how we want to live, no matter what road blocks are put in front of us.
Let’s help Ryan’s dream come true and give him back all the strength, courage, and positivity he has been sharing with all those around him.
***You can contribute through this link: https://www.gofundme.com/ryanhiphop
And also simply by passing the word around. Share this link. Let’s get as many people as we can helping this amazing talent and young dancer make it to Italy! He deserves it!