Foreword by Jane Seymour- Actress, Artist, Philanthropist

An Uplifting Story of Triumph

I first met Susan Rizzo Vincent when she was escorting a teenage cancer patient from New York City to Dancing With the Stars in Hollywood during the season when I performed on that show. I was immediately struck by her determination to help children through her non-profit organization.Susan invited my support to help defray the cost of the patient’s airfare, and I donated one of my first Open Heart paintings as an auction item to cover the child’s travel costs.As I learned more about the Andréa Rizzo Foundation and its pediatric dance therapy program, Dréa’s Dream, created by Susan in memory of her daughter, I was moved by how she turned what might have been a crippling tragedy into a gift for children in need. She found a way to fulfill her daughter Andréa’s dream of helping children with cancer and special needs to experience the benefits of dance/movement therapy. Susan garnered the support of young dancers across the nation who were inspired to make a difference by combining their own love of dance with compassion for children less fortunate than themselves.

Having been a dancer all of my life, I understood the impact that dance would have on a child’s emotional and physical healing. When I spoke with administrators at Memorial Sloan-Kettering cancer Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, I heard testimony that convinced me that Dréa’s Dream was not only helping their most fragile patients move and experience the joy of dance but it also helped them to find new ways of expressing their emotions to better cope with their illness and even manage their pain.

Dréa’s Dream An Unfinished Dance will empower parents facing the devastating news of their child’s cancer diagnosis and it will also empower parents of any child facing disabilities. In addition, it offers inspiration to dancers, who know firsthand the therapeutic value of dance as a healing modality, to nonprofit leaders, and to anyone who is looking for an inspiring story of a mother’s and daughter’s everlasting bond. For parents who have actually lost a child, this book provides a guiding light and offers help to find a reason to go on when such tragedy strikes.

Over the last several years, I have been impressed with Susan’s dedication as she spreads Dréa’s Dream to pediatric hospitals through the country. I have watched her tenaciously overcome adversity and create something positive and transformational for those in need, turning her own pain into a gift for others. When I decided to start the Open Hearts Foundation and honor those who epitomize the Open Heart philosophy of turning their own challenges into a way of helping others, I thought of Susan and her daughter Andréa.

On February 19, 2011, Susan Rizzo Vincent was one of the first four recipients of the Open Hearts Foundation Award along with Emmit and Pat Smith, Robin Roberts, and Jesse Billaueer. I am proud to have supported the Andréa Rizzo Foundation as I believe in the power of dance and applaud the difference Susan Rizzo Vincent has made by opening her heart for thousands of children to benefit.

Dréa’s Dream: An Unfinished Dance gives us an intimate look at how one parent continued to look deep within to find what is possible when faced with the seemingly impossible and in so doing, has made a difference that will impact children well into the future. Enjoy this uplifting story of triumph.

Jane Seymour

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