Tiffany Staropoli, 'dancing cancer video lady,' visits N.L.
A woman from Rochester, New York, who fought her cancer diagnosis by dancing to a song by Newfoundland and Labrador band Great Big Sea has come to the province for her vacation.
Tiffany Staropoli's inspiring story began in May 2013, after a Stage 4 diagnosis of colon cancer.
'It was just the biggest thrill, one of the most moving nights of my life. Everybody in that auditorium, we were all just moved together.' - Tiffany Staropoli
To keep up her spirits while undergoing chemotherapy treatments, Staropoli danced to the Great Big Sea song, When I'm Up (I Can't Get Down).
Her husband shot a video of her dancing, which eventually went viral. The soundtrack to the video features the Great Big Sea hit from 1997.
"It's been pretty amazing ... and it's been an amazing journey since that video kind of took off. I've had people from all over Canada really — but mostly Newfoundlanders and a lot of Great Big Sea fans, emailing me, texting me and Facebooking me — and I've made some friends here," she said.
Staropoli said she is feeling well and has been given a clean bill of health from her doctors.
"I was declared in remission as of February, and had my three-month scan since, and I am nice and clean."
'Blown away' by province's beauty
Staropoli said when she and her husband Rick were planning their trip to the province, they didn't want to do a lot of research.
It's been pretty amazing ... and it's been an amazing journey since that video kind of took off.- Tiffany Staropoli
"I've been blown away. I knew it would be visually stunning. We went down to Cape St. Mary's, saw some gannets; I saw my first puffin. I've seen my first icebergs — six — and I keep seeing more and more, and they keep changing. It's unbelievable," she said. "And whales off the coastline. We were on the beach a couple of times watching them."
The kindness of Great Big Sea
Last September, Blades spoke with Staropoli about her viral dancing video, and arranged for her to speak live on the air with Great Big Sea frontman, Alan Doyle.
She said the "boys" have been incredibly kind to her.
"I actually had the most amazing experience. Back in November, we went to see Great Big Sea, one of their last shows was in Niagara Falls, and the boys invited my husband and I on the tour bus with them, and we got to hang with them for 20 minutes before the show," Staropoli told Blades.
"And then during the show, they pulled me up on stage to dance. It was just the biggest thrill — one of the most moving nights of my life. Everybody in that auditorium, we were all just moved together."
Continuing her blog
Staropoli, who started the blog, Loving Cancer, last year, said although she's in remission she wants to continue to write.
"I'm going to be enhancing it soon; and I will start talking about more than just cancer ... talk about about how I dealt with cancer. It can be extended to dealing with all sorts of upsetting things in life — divorce, addiction, loss in life. If we are able to look at those things, not as the horrible and awful events that they are, but try to glean from them, something powerful, something good, something that we can walk away from — there's no telling what we can do."