Stars of Lismore  Dance For Cancer event to be held in August, profiling radiation therapist Vanessa Knibbs from Northern NSW Cancer Institute, Lismore and Sasha Fox and Danielle Sansom from The Barefoot Gypsies Belly Dance Company.
Stars of Lismore Dance For Cancer event to be held in August, profiling radiation therapist Vanessa Knibbs from Northern NSW Cancer Institute, Lismore and Sasha Fox and Danielle Sansom from The Barefoot Gypsies Belly Dance Company. Contributed: PAUL TUTHILL PHOTOG

Belly dancing for a cure to cancer

VANESSA Knibbs supports patients with cancer every day - but she doesn't usually wear veils, nor belly dances when she does it.

In a different show of support, the Lismore Base Hospital radiation therapist has raised her hand, along with 11 other local personalities, to participate in the Cancer Council's Stars of Lismore - Dance For Cancer. The event challenges the stars to fundraise whilst learning a dance routine.

Ms Knibbs recently moved from the UK and now works in Lismore. She said she once gave up dancing because her teacher told her she had no rhythm, but she's thrown that feedback to the wind to step up to the worthwhile challenge.

"I have always enjoyed dancing, but have never been the most natural at picking up any particular style or move. I know now I will have to put in hours of practice to get anywhere near close to being able to even walk on stage,” she said.

At the centre of Vanessa's role as a radiation therapist is the care and well being of her patients. As radiotherapy is a common form of cancer treatment, she believes by providing a friendly atmosphere and a positive outlook she can allow for the best possible experience for her patients.

"Working with people affected by cancer every day I see the amazing work that Cancer Council does and I know that without fundraising the charity will not be able to function and continue supporting communities like Lismore,” Ms Knibbs said.

Ms Knibbs has embarked on a belly dancing routine with the help of Sasha Fox and Danielle Sansom of The Barefoot Gypsies Belly Dance Company.

"This is such a great initiative to support; the event is so well run and really showcases both the talent and heart of our community. The funds raised contribute to research, treatment, and care of cancer patients and their families, how could we not be involved.” the duo said.

The two best friends and business partners live and breathe tribal belly dancing, and have travelled throughout Australia and abroad sharing their strong, feminine style of dance. The Barefoot Gypsies is an award winning tribal belly dance company, and are renowned for their colourful and dynamic performance troupes and run classes for toddlers, juniors, teens and adults.

Abby Wallace, Cancer Council Community Relations Coordinator, Northern Rivers said: "Vanessa has raised almost $2,000 for Cancer Council NSW and with less than two months until the event we're sure she will surpass her fundraising goal.”

Funds raised go towards cancer research, prevention, advocacy and information and support services. Prevention is a fundamental aspect of Cancer Council's mission about about two in three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before the age of 70.

Cancer Council NSW works to reduce this risk by encouraging people to live cancer smart lifestyles, the Improve Your Long Game campaign will run at the Lismore Workers Golf Club and aims to inspire NSW golfers to use sun smart protection during the summer period.

Show your support and help Vanessa Knibbs reach her fundraising efforts; donations can be made directly on his fundraising page at starsoflismore2017.everydayhero.com/au/vanessa-knibbs.

The event will be held on Saturday August 5 at the Lismore Workers Club. Tickets are are available now from the Lismore Workers Club or online at www.lismoreworkers.com.au/all-available-shows.

For more information about the event go to: www.everydayhero.com.au/event/starsoflismore2017 or contact Abby Wallace at Cancer Council on 02 6639 1308 or abbyw@nswcc.org.au.