A DANCE teacher from South Tyneside who is battling breast cancer has had her spirits lifted by her ‘little machines’.
Kim Thompson is determined to continue running her classes despite being diagnosed with the disease in April – after finding a small lump in her breast.
The 38-year-old is undergoing chemotherapy, and facing radiotherapy, but says running Sanddancerz three nights a week is working miracles.
She said: “My dancers are just amazing, they’re really helping me through all of this. I call them my little machines.
“Normally, they’re all noisy and will make a right racket before the start of a class. But when they know I’ve had my chemo, they’re as good as gold and so considerate.
“They’ve all been unbelievable.
“I am a firm believer of keeping busy and on the move, and they have all helped me take my mind off things.
“For that I’m really grateful.”
Mrs Thompson is a stepmother to Shona, 20, and mum to Kaisha, 12, and Shea-Li, nine.
In May, three weeks after she was diagnosed with cancer, the growth was removed.
She said: “It was just by chance I discovered the lump really.
“Shona had bought me some new bath products, so I thought I’d have a nice relaxing bath and use them instead of the usual hopping in and out of the shower. It was only a tiny lump, but I thought I’d better get it checked out.
“Three weeks later I was having it removed. It all happened very quickly.
“I am gutted my hair is thinning, because the dancing world is very glamorous, but it’s just one of those things isn’t it?
“And it will grow back.”
Mrs Thompson, who’s married to Shaun, 47, only opened her dance school last September, and is already seeing success with her pupils winning a range of awards.
On Tuesday evenings she teaches at Hedworth Hall in Dean Road, Wednesdays at Chuter Ede in Galsworthy Road, and on Thursdays in the Cleadon Club, Fulwell Avenue, all in South Shields.
Next month, the group will be travelling to Skegness to compete and in November they’re planning a Christmas show.
Mrs Thompson said: “It’s been quite a year, but the dance school is going so well. I can’t believe it.
“My chemo will be finished on December 5, then I will be starting the radiotherapy, but there’s no time to dwell on things, you just have to get on with it.”
For information about Sanddancerz, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org