The little girl sits in a hospital room.

She lives here. In this bed. In this university hospital. She lives in this gown. She usually plays on her iPad. All by herself. This is her life.

She’s been sad lately.

“A lot of people don’t think about the mental health of a dying child,” says the girl’s mother. “But when you’re a kid, and a doctor tells you that you’re dying, it screws you up.”

The child is 10 years old. Her beautiful head is smooth and bald. The cancer has stolen one of her eyes. The surgeon removed her eyeball recently in an operation called enucleation.

If you want to have your heart ripped out, talk to a kid who has undergone enucleation.

She is brave, yes. She is a fighter, absolutely. But even heroes get blue sometimes. She is, after all, human.

Cancer treatment sucks. Treatment has ruined her social life. Treatment has destroyed her childhood. Some days, the girl barely has the energy to breathe.

But she still wants to be a kid. Her little brain still says: “Hey! You’re 10 years old! Go be a kid! Run around and play!” But her body says no.

And all this makes her sad. She is a living science project. She lives from medication to medication. Her face is puffy from endless treatments. Her energy levels are often non-existent.

Enter the nurses.

“We wanted to do something that would make her smile,” said one nurse, who shall also remain nameless—although if, perchance, we were to give this RN an actual name, we might call this nurse Angela.

Angela brings her Bluetooth speaker into the child’s room. Angela and four other nurses have dance parties for the child. These nurses perform serious dance routines with complicated parts and intricate steps.

“We don’t dance easy routines,” says Angela. “I actually have to watch videos and practice at home, and my husband’s like, ‘Um, what are you doing?’”

The first night they did this, four ordinary RNs entered the girl’s room, wearing ordinary scrubs, and they danced. The music blared, and the nurses executed a series of choreographed moves that got everyone’s heart rates up.

“It’s good cardio,” remarks one nurse. “I’ve lost, like, two pounds already.”

That first night the little girl started going crazy. She wanted to learn the dance. She began applauding and shouting, “Teach me!”

So nurses stood the child up in bed, holding her tiny body for support—a lawsuit waiting to happen. And the nurses taught the child to dance.

Soon, the girl was shaking her tail feathers like a pro. And more importantly, the kid was laughing.

“I started to cry,” says Angela. “When I heard her laugh, I just lost it. I was like, ‘You’re doing it, sweetheart! You’re dancing!’”

Another nurse says: “When you see a little girl who’s dying work up the drive to start dancing, it does something to you.”

The dance party went so well the nurses decided to do it again in the rooms of other child patients. The sick little girl joins them each time. She never misses a dance-off.

“This girl is my hero,” one nurse says.

So right now, as you read this, a 10-year-old is dancing in an anonymous university hospital, somewhere in the U.S.

She is bald, half blind, weak and gaunt. But she does the Funky Chicken in the rooms of fellow patients to cheer them. To make them smile. To lift their hearts.

She dances although her energy is low. She dances despite her sinking spirits. Dancing has become the highlight of her day.

When asked why she chooses to accompany these nurses on nightly dance-a-thons, the girl replies with a laugh:

“Because I’m still here.”

I cannot add anything to this child’s immaculate words. So I won’t even try.


  1. Leigh Amiot - February 25, 2023 9:15 am

    Was just reading about heaven prior to this article, can’t help but think of the time this child’s eye, hair, and energy will be restored and she’ll never again experience sadness. She’ll be able to dance joyfully before the Lord. I’m in awe of her now—despite everything she is going through, she dances to cheer others.

  2. Dolores - February 25, 2023 11:38 am

    Bless these nurses…and all nurses. The parents, grandparents and all who love her will remember she laughed and danced her way out of here.

  3. Amanda ALLEN - February 25, 2023 11:43 am

    I am inspired!

  4. Marian Stewart - February 25, 2023 11:56 am

    Thank you for renewing my weary spirit. We all need to see the world with mre gracious eyes and hearts.

  5. Jack - February 25, 2023 12:27 pm

    Sean, I’m just sitting here looking at the phone but I can’t see anything through the tears, but I can still count my blessings. Some days you write very powerful messages!

  6. Joy Jacobs - February 25, 2023 12:36 pm

    Another sweet story. Thanks. I look forward to reading your blog every morning. I’ve read nearly all your books and am working on finishing them all with your newest being saved for last. ❤️

  7. Oliver Rhett Talbert - February 25, 2023 12:38 pm

    Wow. When I read this over against the comments I hear and attitudes I observe among many un-sick folks, I can’t help but feel sad that so many people are simply ungrateful for life. And feel happy for this sweet angel whose joy at simply dancing is her gift to the world she knows.

  8. Suz Cahill - February 25, 2023 1:04 pm

    Oh my. I needed to read this on this particular morning. Thanks, Sean

  9. Ginga Smithfield - February 25, 2023 1:06 pm

    Me too! I won’t even try to comment!! There are no words!

  10. Gigi22 - February 25, 2023 1:35 pm

    I read Sean of the South along with my daily devotions—your words lift my spirits, make me think, and remind me of all the good still in this world♥️ Praying for this young girl, and may God continue to bless the dancing nurses!🙏

  11. Michael Sellers - February 25, 2023 1:38 pm


  12. Stacey Edwards - February 25, 2023 1:45 pm

    I wasn’t expecting this this morning!😭😭 Cancer sucks for anyone, but especially for sweet babies! Prayers for this dancing angel and her family!😇🙏🏻

  13. Fran Willard - February 25, 2023 1:47 pm


  14. Greyn - February 25, 2023 1:56 pm

    Almost every comment posted in response to this column speaks to the perspective you bring, so regularly and so valuably. That child is already a very successful human being.

  15. ROBERT STORCK - February 25, 2023 1:57 pm

    Angels among us. My wife was a pediatric cardiac intensive care nurse at a well known and respected children’s hospital. I visited once and never again. These nurses are true ANGELS, and hurt so much inside, while putting smiles on the faces of those facing an uncertain future. And this brave young lady is also an angel for what she is doing for others. There is a special place for her.

  16. Peggy M. Windham - February 25, 2023 2:00 pm

    Bless her heart! What a gift those nurses are! 🙏💜

  17. AL - February 25, 2023 2:07 pm

    Beautiful tribute to the little girl and especially the nurses who are truly angels in scrubs!! May God Bless them one and all.

  18. Pam Williams - February 25, 2023 2:09 pm


  19. Linda Lewis - February 25, 2023 2:19 pm

    What a brave little girl. I will keep her in my prayers.🙏

  20. Norman - February 25, 2023 2:21 pm

    GOD bless them all

  21. Anita - February 25, 2023 2:26 pm

    Sean, Thank you for all the sweet stories you share with us about people we may never meet and for giving us the opportunity to pray for them. Praying for this little girl and many others you have shared with us! Thank you for reminding us of the good in our world! May you be blessed! And I bet she would like to meet your dog with no eyes but plenty of love and life to share just like her.

  22. Jean - February 25, 2023 2:49 pm

    Such a powerful message here. No matter what life throws you …dance! Love this little girl and the incredible nurses (angels) who helped her laugh. Thank you Sean for this story. Keep them coming….

  23. Anne Arthur - February 25, 2023 2:50 pm

    Nothing to add to such a beautiful story. GOD bless them all.

  24. Stacey Wallace - February 25, 2023 2:52 pm

    Sean, you made me cry this morning. Thank you for telling this marvelous story. This baby girl and her nurses are my heroes. May God bless them all.

  25. Melissa Brown - February 25, 2023 2:59 pm

    Oh my so sad – l have a very special spot in my heart for sick children – that is the nurse in me. These nurses are angels from heaven sent to help this little girl have some happiness in her life. There are soooo many sweet children just like this little girl. It is just terrible to see little children with Cancer – the bald heads just make you cry. You know they will generally have such a short life full of pain & disappointment. As a nurse you want to do anything to make their life a little happier. Thank you for such a wonderful story this morning. Those nurses make me feel good that l was once a nurse. I miss helping people so much. I look forward to your story each morning. I am so sad that my husband & l must miss your appearance in Panama City next Saturday. We have had tickets for so long. Being old keeps you from doing a lot of things, hopefully you will come to Dothan one day. Keep up your wonderful stories !!!!

  26. mccutchen52 - February 25, 2023 3:05 pm

    At 71 I wake up every morning with aches and pains. Reading a story like this reminds me other people, especially young people, have a tougher morning than I will every have.

  27. Connie Gatlin - February 25, 2023 3:07 pm

    …because I’m still here…

  28. John - February 25, 2023 3:08 pm

    My hat goes off to anyone who cares in whatever way!

  29. Brenda Weakley - February 25, 2023 3:15 pm

    Perchance to dream…to hope…to find that one expression of life brings more joy to a soul than the sorrow that accompanies it. Crying.

  30. Trilby - February 25, 2023 3:21 pm

    These humans are a delight. I’m sure the angels are dancing with them too!

  31. Susie - February 25, 2023 3:48 pm

    I am not a believer. But I do believe that nurses and hospice helpers are angels on Earth.

  32. Judy Inman - February 25, 2023 3:54 pm

    This made me cry and smile at the same time! Now I know that nurses are angels in disguise.

  33. Ceejay - February 25, 2023 4:09 pm

    You, and Winston Browne…


  34. David Britnell - February 25, 2023 4:17 pm

    Must be a beautiful soul! The nurses must be awesome too!

  35. LINDA G ARNOLD - February 25, 2023 4:17 pm

    SO SWEET!!!!
    Us Southerners have a lot to be proud of when we look to nurses like these!
    My prayers are with this sweet 10-year-old.
    Keep smiling!

  36. brucehrogers1 - February 25, 2023 4:24 pm

    Oh, the spirit of a child! It breaks my heart every time I hear about a sick child. But it also raises my spirit knowing how strong and resilient a child is when going through the trials and tribulations they face in situations like this. Sean, thank you for sharing these stories. It gives me hope and should give everyone hope that God is with us during our pain. And no matter how much humanly pain we suffer, it is only temporary and like a child we can cherish the thought of being with our Lord soon but while we are here, we will DANCE!

  37. Judy - February 25, 2023 4:25 pm

    Thanks be to God for His love and mercy. I am sure His hands are holding her as she dances.

  38. Ben Womack - February 25, 2023 4:35 pm

    how about an address would like to send her a bear

    • Nancy - February 25, 2023 7:09 pm

      Not the address for the special Dancing gal, but any children cancer hospital area will happily accept gifts for kids..💯🥰🥰

  39. Donna Nikzi - February 25, 2023 5:06 pm

    Thank you for writing UP this story so that we can all know the amazing grace and capacity of the human heart to uplift our world with compassion in action. May every lonely child know love like this and may our entire world remember that this is who we are and why we are here.

  40. Stephen Leachman - February 25, 2023 5:12 pm

    I can’t imagine what that little girl and her parents are going through. Makes my problems so ridiculously small they’re not problems at all. And those nurses…they are inspired by God. God bless that girl, here family and her nurses.

  41. Linda Moon - February 25, 2023 5:53 pm

    Childhood cancer….the worst kind. I’ve often asked God why I’ve survived cancers and many children didn’t. Speaking for God, I believe, my oncologist’s answer when asked was “God always has His purposes”. So, I think the little girl’s words are perfect: we live and love and dance every day simply because we’re here and we can. My ripped-up heart is with the dancing child and I’ll dance later today for her!

  42. Karen - February 25, 2023 7:23 pm

    I think I am speechless. Be still my heart.

  43. Bill - February 25, 2023 7:27 pm

    Beautifully written, mate. Praying for this incredibly courageous child, her family and her very special nurses. Lord have mercy.

  44. EPGregg - February 25, 2023 8:07 pm

    No other words needed❤️

  45. Charles Farrell - February 25, 2023 8:12 pm

    Tears of sorrow and of happiness. Counting blessings for those young children bravely
    Yay by day.

  46. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - February 25, 2023 8:15 pm

    Sean, you did it again! You made me cry!

  47. Gayle Wilson - February 25, 2023 8:51 pm

    This is a bittersweet story. Joy that nurses who work their fingers to the bone and sometimes never get to sit down during their shift. I know because my granddaughter is a nurse. Joy because it brings this little girl joy. Joy because she & the nurses bring joy to other children suffering the same fate as the little girl. Sadness that every minute of every day this same scenario is playing out throughout the world. Sadness that people are so wrapped in their little worlds that they don’t stop to think that their minuscule problems are nothing compared to what children are suffering in such a way.
    Thank you for reminding us Sean that the world does not revolve around our minor aches and pains. And our problems
    are nothing compared to this little girl and every child with cancer.

  48. Patricia Gibson - February 25, 2023 9:44 pm

    Prayers lifted for this precious gift from God. Peace, comfort and as much happiness as is possible for her to have❤️

  49. Mary W kehl - February 25, 2023 9:59 pm

    Now, that’s a tear jerker for sure. God keep her close in his arms as she travels this journey.😇🙏❤

  50. MAM - February 25, 2023 10:57 pm

    Good grief, Sean. Here I am expecting something that will make me laugh as I walk out the door. But no, you had to bring a deluge of tears—sad ones and happy ones. The happy ones are for the fact that she is dancing. She’s 10 years old and dancing. May God bless her and keep her here as long as He believes she should in order to continue to make other children happy.

  51. Madonna Renee Rex - February 25, 2023 11:20 pm

    Prayers to this little girl and all the others going through cancer treatment. Also bless those nurses!

  52. Patricia A Schmaltz - February 25, 2023 11:28 pm

    Tears again. Thank you for the heart check.

  53. Larry T. - February 26, 2023 12:16 am

    Among other gifts we derive from your prose is perspective. Thank you.

  54. Renee Welton - February 26, 2023 2:49 am


  55. Sherry Lynn Short - February 26, 2023 3:16 am

    Another masterpiece.
    BTW I’m not crying, you’re crying 😭

  56. Karen Snyder - February 26, 2023 3:54 am

    Most of us give too little thought to how truly blessed we are. Keep dancing, sweet girl! ❤️

  57. Anita R - February 26, 2023 1:07 pm

    Sing till your hearts content
    Laugh until your belly hurts
    Dance like nobody is watching….
    Go to Heaven when its your time on a skateboard and say “Wow what a ride what’s next?”

  58. Cheryl - February 26, 2023 7:27 pm

    Wow. Your stories inspire me every day. Thank you.

  59. Randal defoe - February 27, 2023 12:41 am

    She is a fighter just like the 10 year old man boy
    Our family lost two days ago. He put all he had into
    Beating his cancer. Now he hurts nomore and can dance
    And run and everything that was taken from him here on earth.


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