Benefit Concert for Young Eugene Dancer

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EUGENE, Ore. — There are many things we take for granted in life, including the ability to dance.

A Eugene girl was born with two rare diseases that would making dancing very difficult, but she’s overcoming her obstacles and catching the eyes of her peers.

Three-year-old Brielle Crawford has had to deal with some big challenges. She was born with two rare diseases: Hemifacial Microsomia–a congenital disorder that affects the development of the lower half of the face–and Klippel-Feil Syndrome–a skeletal disease.

“She has a pelvic kidney on the right side. She’s missing a rib on the right side. Her ear did not develop on the right side. She has paralysis on the right side,” said Jaylene Crawford, Brielle’s mom.

Her doctors told her a fall could result in serious problems, so dancing was out.

“She could even be paralyzed if she fell the wrong way,” Crawford said.

But this toddler is already making great strides, and because of that, her doctors gave her the green light to groove.

‘When I found out she could, that day we turned up music and danced around the kitchen for hours,” Crawford said.

“I love it (dancing),” Brielle said.

And her dance class is now spreading the love. This Friday they’re throwing a benefit concert for Brielle at the Wildish Theater called Overcome.

“Brielle is so spunky and so much fun. She has so much personality, and that is why we really want this concert to be about overcome, and it’s about the triumph of her little spirit,” said Sarah Beth Byrum, artistic director at All That! Dance Company.

“It’s completely appropriate because, because she will overcome this and she will live her life as she chooses to,” Crawford said.

We asked Brielle if she wants to be a dancer when she grows up. “Yes,” she said. “Because I love that all day.”

And what would a concert be without some costume changes. Brielle’s transformation to Wonder Woman is seamless, making us all wonder if we could get just a little bit of her super-human strength to help us all dance through life challenges.

The benefit concert is Friday at the Wildish Theater. All proceeds will go to help with Brielle’s future surgeries. She’ll still need a number of them as she gets older. Click here for more information about the concert.

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