Melissa Mcdaniel Garcia & Julie Pelaez
"Always a Reason to Dance"
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The Story
Melissa Mcdaniel Garcia
Melissa Mcdaniel Garcia
Instagram @queen_garcia
Twist on Cancer: My own twist is that being a survivor has really opened my eyes to taking advantage of the little moments. It still surreal that I'm a survivor. But thru God and my husband and kids I knew I was going to win this battle. And they never made me feel like I had cancer and I'm so thankful for them.
Julie Peleaz
Julie Pelaez
“Always a Reason to Dance”
Mixed Media
21.5"W x 32"H x 2"D
Artist Market Value: $650
Artist Statement: Melissa is one of those people who is brave without realizing it. As a girl, she “pushed the limits,” despite major health issues. In adulthood, she faced additional hardships but found footing alongside her family. And now, at 39, she fights Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, an aggressive type of Breast Cancer against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Talk about bravery.

Over the past four months, Melissa and I have connected through texts and phone calls. Despite not even knowing what she looks like, a vivid mental image appeared when she told me of her favorite pastime: dancing to hip-hop. Dancing while she was cleaning the house. Dancing with her family growing up. Dancing just for fun. Her casual admission embodied such a loud expression of life, celebration and playfulness. Since Melissa herself was too weak to dance because of treatment, I wanted to bring the dance party to her. Bold colors and lettering give off a hip-hop vibe, while the feminine pinks are a nod to her breast cancer diagnosis. The multi-layered background symbolizes both the past challenges Melissa has overcome, as well as how those experiences have shaped who she is today.

I know in the moment of grueling treatment, Melissa does not feel like the resilient warrior I see. But if her history is any indication, she’ll prove to herself that she can get through the hardest of challenges life throws at her. Because there is always a reason to dance.
Show them some love and tell them how you feel.