September 04, 2013 08:44 AM by Stephanie Gustafson
In perhaps one of the more surprising of this morning’s Dancing With The Stars reveals, we learned that former Mary Tyler Moore actress and current brain cancer patient Valerie Harper will indeed be joining the season 17 cast. But is she really healthy enough for the show’s notoriously grueling schedule?
Dancing With The Stars is tough for the healthiest of stars, so how in the world is Valerie Harper supposed to balance the already intense nature of rehearsing and performing with her current cancer treatments? Other stars battling similar health problems have fallen prey to injury and exhaustion. For example, just last season, breast cancer survivor and Olympian Dorothy Hamill found herself leaving the show early due to health issues. Could the same thing wind up happening to Valerie Harper?
Valerie acknowledges that performing on DWTS might be a bit of an uphill battle, but adds that she’s more than ready to take on the challenge. The actress tells People that, if there’s any time to pursue this dream, it’s right now. “I feel much better. And my brain scans are looking better too. The doctors tell me there’s less evidence of cancer, which is very unusual. However, they both say it’s not a case of if, but when. And I can live with that.”
She’s long harbored a longing to join DWTS, but Valier held off in the past because she worried that her previous dance experience could give her an unfair advantage over other contestants. “I’d been asked to do this before, but I always said no because I started dancing on Broadway at 17. It helped pay for my acting lessons.” But with the cancer diagnosis, the playing field has been leveled…and Valerie’s current fear is that she’ll make a fool of herself. But she’s forging ahead in hopes that it will be “inspiring to people to see a 74-year-old woman with terminal cancer dancing .”
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Photos Courtesy: E!