Name: Jonna Banko
Dance Studio: Millennium Dance Complex Pittsburgh, PA
Why Jonna wants to be a voice for children fighting cancer:
I would be honored to become an ambassador for Dance Hope Cure, and spread awareness about childhood cancer. I dance for the Reflections of Grace Foundation where I raise money and perform on Millennium Dance Complex Pittsburgh’s Race For Grace Team. We dance at a 5K event in memory of Grace Ekis, a 5 year-old ballerina, who passed away from DIPG pediatric brain cancer in 2008. I dance for Grace because she was a dancer like me and I admire how she continued to dance through her illness. The picture of her dancing in her wheel chair just 9 days before she passed away is one I’ll never forget. I can’t imagine how much she went through. Dancing for her gives me a purpose to feel like I’m contributing to keep her memory alive. Our group works hard to spread awareness to raise money to find a cure. This year we traveled to Washington D.C. to perform on the National Mall at Curefest. It was a great experience to meet other talented dancers from all over the country coming together to be a voice for children fighting cancer. Our goal is to be part of something great by #AlwaysDancingWithGrace.