Yuma Sun

Go on, dance with somebody!

Advokate challenge asks for videos dancing to Whitney Houston classic

- BY SISKO J. STARGAZER Sun STAFF Writer Sisko J. Stargazer can be reached at 928-539-6849 or sstargazer@ yumasun.com.

It was her last dance securing a scholarshi­p in one of her last classes. Whitney Houston’s voice could be heard belting that she wants to dance with somebody and the dancer, Kate Campa, was radiant. ADVOKATE Foundation Founder and President Lili Campa remembers it all too well.

“The song in itself was key,” Campa said. “(Kate) was more like an ‘80s type of old soul so for her it was super fun to be dancing the song and I remember watching her on stage and just seeing her vibe and her positivity when she was dancing.”

Choosing a song for the ADVOKATE Foundation’s third annual February Dance Challenge turned out to be a clear choice as Campa shared that everyone at the foundation felt the catchy positivity is what everyone needs to feel.

It’s also fitting given the purpose of the challenge is to simply #Dancelikek­ate. Folks need only take videos of themselves or perhaps their pets dancing to the chorus of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Post a video to either Instagram or Tiktok, tag the ADVOKATE Foundation account (@Advokatefo­undation) and use the hashtag #Dancelikek­ate by the end of Feb. 28 to participat­e in the challenge. With every 500 videos posted, ADVOKATE Foundation will donate $1,000 to Dancers Against Cancer. The challenge not only helps raise funds but awareness.

“We want to make sure that at the same time that we are dancing, we’re raising awareness and educating others on pediatric cancer which is not very well known,” Campa said. “And also to make sure that we continue to advocate for those families that are going through the same journey that my family went through, in which you know, the resources are very scarce and the medication is extremely, extremely old with not so much funding from the federal government.”

She explained that pediatric cancer patients can typically do lab work in Yuma and find support from the hospital but treatment normally involves travel to places like Phoenix. And it’s not just a Yuma-specific issue or even an issue that ends exactly with remission.

“You’re not just dealing with the families that have cancer and are going through their cancer journey and the end,” she said. “You’re also dealing with things that happen even after the fact; other illnesses that come about after you go through your journey. So it’s not like a one-anddone deal. It’s the relapse or other healthcare issues that come about with the cancer, the toxins that we put into our bodies.”

She added that the problem is nationwide – pediatric cancer lacks sufficient awareness for there to be enough resources to fight it.

“I think it’s the lack of awareness,” Campa said. “I think it’s the lack of education. And unfortunat­ely, cancer is not – we’re fighting a beast without the resources. And the medication that is being given to children is not even a medication that was made for them. It was made mainly for the adults.”

And that’s why she looks forward to donating to Dancers Against Cancer.

“ADVOKATE is not just making an impact here in Yuma, it’s making the impact nationwide,” Campa stated. “Dancers Against Cancer, they travel all over the nation and they support families with a big chunk of money that, really at the end of the day, is nothing compared to the amount the expenses that you encounter when you’re going through this journey. It’s extremely important but the most important asset in doing this dance challenge is the education piece. To me, that’s more important than money at this point.”

The Campas’ own experience with Dancers Against Cancer is even deeper, however.

“Kate was a competitiv­e dancer since the age of five and started dancing at the age of two and a half,” Lili Campa shared. “Part of her dance community, they do dance challenges in which we raise money and that money at some points throughout Kate’s dance career was being donated to either kids or families that were battling cancer.

“When Kate got diagnosed, she was given $10,000 by Dancers Against Cancer and that’s the reason why to me, it’s really dear for me to give back to our dance community. The way we give back is by dancing, by doing the things that makes us happy, will make Kate happy. So that’s one of the things that we do during this challenge is we dance and then we give back to the foundation that once supported Kate during her cancer journey.”

To keep up with the latest from the organizati­on and find the challenge rules, visit ADVOKATE at https:// www.facebook.com/teamkateca­mpa/ or https://advokatefo­undation.com/.

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