Stars of the Border Dance for Cancer brings chance to lighten hard times

A dear friend’s cancer battle will inspire Meg Salisbury as she hip-hops her way towards a gala night in May.

Mrs Salisbury said she often talked about costumes and songs for the Stars of the Border Dance for Cancer with her Melbourne friend Jeynelle Dowdle, who has breast cancer.

“I consult with her a lot,” she said. “She’s going through chemo at the moment so it’s fun for us to chat.

“It was a good way to pep us all up and keep fighting the fight.

“Something to look forward to and fun to be involved with.”

Tickets go on sale Wednesday for the fifth annual Stars of the Border Dance for Cancer, where 13 identities from Albury-Wodonga perform dance routines learned over eight weeks.

Participants also pledge to reach a fundraising target, with the money going towards Cancer Council NSW’s support and prevention programs as well as investing into research.

Mrs Salisbury, of Splitters Creek, has no formal dance experience, but learning hip-hop will be far from the biggest challenge she’s faced.

Ginger was the first person in Australia diagnosed with the condition, which results from a mutation in the KAT6A gene.

Common traits can include developmental delay and significant speech and language deficits.

Mrs Salisbury has joined with other affected parents overseas to form the KAT6A Foundation, acting as the Australian fundraising co-ordinator and support person.

With only 116 known cases worldwide, she is working with doctors to conduct research and search for potential treatments.

Although KAT6A has been life-changing for Mr and Mrs Salisbury, Ginger and older daughter Scarlet, 14, not everything is negative.

“It’s actually been a really wonderful experience in many ways,” Mrs Salisbury said.

“Because I just have learned a lot more about my character and it’s helped me be a better person in a lot of ways.

“It’s helped all of us be better people.”

Mrs Salisbury has met her Stars of the Border Dance for Cancer teacher Angela Jones to plan their hip-hop routine.

“I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to getting a bit fitter as well,” she said.

In preparation, she’s posted a sample of her dancing on Facebook, “which I was extraordinarily atrocious at, but you know, it’s fun and if it gets me noticed and I get some donations out of it then it’s all worth it”.

Mrs Salisbury will host a movie night fundraiser on February 23, Game Night starring Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman. For tickets, email megsalisbury@hotmail.com.