SaraSolo Festival participant Valerie David shared her cancer journey during a special performance at Jewish Family and Children’s Service.
When Valerie David was found to have lymphoma, she was scared.
When she was found to have breast cancer 15 years later, she was angry.
“Anger is a lot more powerful than fear,” David said.
That anger propelled her to write and star in a one-woman show about her journey called "The Pink Hulk: One Woman's Journey to Find the Superhero Within" directed by Padraic Lillis.
Now, the New York City resident travels the country sharing her journey with audiences and fellow survivors.
She visited Sarasota in late January for the SaraSolo Festival, which commemorates the solo performer. Before she left Sarasota, she gave a special performance, and this one was personal.
David performed for an audience at Jewish Family and Children’s Service Feb. 1. Many people in the audience had been affected by cancer themselves. The performance was sponsored by Arts for Health Sarasota-Manatee, which promotes better health outcomes through the arts, and Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
Co-chairwoman Hedda Matza-Haughton said for many in the audience, the performance was not just entertaining, but also healing.
“(David’s) program validates the experience people go through as a cancer survivor,” Matza-Haughton said.
As the audience laughed, cried and cheered along with David, it was clear that she was no longer angry.
“The anger is gone, and now it’s just happiness,” David said.