When Sarah Rush, MD, puts her heels on for work as a pediatric neuro-oncologist at Akron’s Children’s Hospital, it generally has nothing to do with dancing. But, on Oct. 24, that will change as she steps on stage at Akron Civic Theatre as part of the 3rd annual “Dancing for the Kids” event.
“My patients and colleagues see me in heels all the time so that’s nothing new,” said Dr. Rush. “But the dancing with grace in heels – now that – that’s going to be something to see!” And watch her dance, along with eight other local celebrities, is exactly what she hopes people will do to help raise money for the Akron Children’s Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Dr. Rush, director of neuro-oncology and director of new agent and targeted therapy program at Akron Children’s, helps children and teens understand their prognosis and next steps. “The first time families hear the word neuro-oncology or brain tumor, it can be scary so it’s important they know we’re in this together,” said Dr. Rush. “We have a great team of specialists to help guide patients and their families through prognosis, treatment options and ongoing support.”
Most pediatric brain tumor patients require some combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Advancements in all three treatment areas in the last few decades have contributed to better outcomes. “Pediatric tumors are different than those found in adults, and they’re easier to treat because their bodies tolerate treatment better,” said Dr. Rush. “This event will help raise awareness and money to support neuro-oncology clinical trials so we can continue to find new and better ways to care for pediatric patients.”
Dr. Rush grew up in Norwalk, Ohio and is married with a three-year-old daughter. So, when asked if dancing in the event was worth the risk of a misstep on stage in front of family and colleagues she said, “Absolutely.” But added, “Honestly, though, I am a little worried about my instructor’s expectations. I think the bar has been set pretty high for my dancing abilities but I guess that will be for the audience to decide.”
The community is encouraged to support the event by voting for their favorite dancer online through donations or attending the event. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit akronchildrens.org/dancing or contact the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation at 330-543-8340.