Last Thursday we introduced you to San Francisco Woman You Should Know Deborah Cohan, who held a dance party in the operating room before undergoing a double mastectomy. Since Deborah posted the video on November 5th, it has garnered more than 6 million views and even Beyonce herself posted it on her Facebook page.
We were so taken with Deborah’s incredible courage and inspiring attitude that we wanted to learn more about this dancing dynamo and what possessed her to create the video that has us all laughing through our tears.
What we’ve learned is that Dr. Deborah Cohan is a mom to Benjamin and Dahlia, and an OB/GYN at the University of California at San Francisco, specializing in the care of pregnant women with HIV. She runs the UCSF Perinatal HIV Clinic, is medical director of the Bay Area Perinatal AIDS Center (BAPAC) at San Francisco General Hospital and is assistant director of the National Perinatal HIV Consultation and Referral Service. In addition to treating patients, she is an associate professor in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.
Deborah has been documenting her breast cancer journey on a CaringBridge page she created to keep friends and family updated. She explains her vision for the video in a recent post:
“My fantasy is for you to play the song… and dance wherever you happen to be. I have visions of a healing video montage. Nothing brings me greater joy than catalyzing others to dance, move, be in their bodies. Are you with me people?”
After being released from the hospital last week, Deborah learned that her video went viral. She updated her page with a collection of quotes about gratitude, and a message for those of us who have been routing her on:
“You are all direct evidence that we humans are caring, social, compassionate, joyful beings… I am overwhelmed (in a beautiful way) by the outpouring of prayers, dance videos, photos, stories. Together, we are a magnificent tapestry of emotions, experiences, relationships, woven together with love. There are too many experiences to recount — the UCSF Mt Zion Hospital staff is simply extraordinary. My family and friends are exceptional. The internet community is immensely kind and loving [with just a few people who haven’t yet learned to trust their true souls (and let’s take a moment of compassion to hope they find their groove)]… Profound gratitude to all who are bearing witness to this journey. It is our collective journey really. To those many women about to undergo mastectomy or other major surgery who have reached out to me, let me know if you want to do a Skype dance before your surgery. Eternal love and gratitude.” peace, Deborah
We are all with you Deborah! Wishing you a speedy recovery.
You can check out videos of Deborah’s fans shaking their booties in solidarity and post messages to her here.