School joins in dance, moved by teacher with cancer

Posted at 12:15 AM, Apr 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-06 00:15:37-04

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR) There was a special dance and pep rally at James River High School for a much-loved teacher fighting for her life.

This is Carrie Roarty’s 14th year teaching physical education at James River.

She has so much to live for: a newborn child and a six-year-old, a husband and a family at James River who have loved her back to health during her first two bouts of breast cancer.

Every day they would bring her something, say something. Fellow teachers would donate sick leave, bring food.

And now…

“This is my third go-around with cancer,” Carrie, 39, said.

She found out about this third fight at the very place that helped her win the first two times.

“This time I was here at school,” she recalled, “and had a seizure. And the cancer had metastasized on my brain, so I had a tumor there, and they’ve also found two more on my spine.”

Carrie’s been out since she was rushed to the hospital that February school day. She’s undergoing aggressive treatment, she said. Her doctor’s are confident, she’s confident, she’ll win again.

So her fellow teachers danced like stars Thursday. They danced for the school;  for Carrie, for cancer research

The students screamed in delight. Perhaps to their surprise, the teachers really did dance like stars.

And at the end, much of the school joined in. There were many hugs, cheers, and yes, some tears.

“It’s hard to fall when you have so many people just holding you up,” Carrie said. “And that’s exactly how I feel like – the school’s holding me up. And I can’t wait to come back - and be back. Because it is such a part of me and who I am.”

Some say dancing is good for the soul.

Thursday, at James River High School, there was no doubt about it.