Local medical professional dances her way through battle with cancer


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A local ultrasound tech is inspiring others in and out of Swedish American Hospital.

34-year-old Rena Williams is fighting an aggressive form of breast cancer that’s changed her life.

“I’m young it wasn’t supposed to happen to me,” she explained.

Williams never imagined she would become a cancer patient in the hospital she worked as an x-ray tech for the last 10 years.

“If you find a lump it’s a matter of life or death,” Williams said.

She made that life changing discovery over the Summer. Undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, which she now looks forward to as she and her husband transform a parking lot into a ballroom before each treatment.

“I have to have a song that I get excited about, as a way to escape the sounds of beeping machines,” she explained. “It’s something I can look forward to, coming to the cancer center rather than just the chemo. It gives me a positive purpose to not being at home and focusing on what could happen, I’m practicing my dance and having fun.”

Turning the Swedish American Cancer Center parking lot, into a personal dance floor, showcasing her moves before each treatment, surrounded by windows filled with those fighting the same battle.

“I was out in the parking lot, we were finishing the dance and someone I’ve never met drove up with her car and said my daughter comes here for treatment and she didn’t know why I was doing it, and that was so inspiring and all I can hope for,” Williams said.

Patrick Williams, Rena’s husband, said it’s a good distraction.

“People anticipate it, can’t wait to see what’s next,” he said.

From parking lines, to online, friends and family wait for R. Williams weekly dance videos to upload to Facebook. The clips becoming a symbol of her strength.

” I just love it. It’s so great to see her so positive and full of energy during this hard time we’re going through,” Patrick Williams said.

Rena spends hours, learning dances on YouTube hoping for a grand finale in this same lot the day she becomes a cancer survivor.

“Having something like dancing is really getting me through this,” she said.


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