In the words of Ana-Alecia Ayala, “Rhabdomyosarcoma picked the wrong girl to mess with!” The 32-year-old mom went viral this week when she shared a video on Facebook of her getting chemotherapy and nailing a hip-hop routine at the same time. In December 2015, the 32-year-old mom from Dallas, Texas, was diagnosed with a rare type of uterine sarcoma called rhabdomyosarcoma. Uterine sarcoma is a cancer that forms in the muscles and tissue of the uterus. According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 1,600 new cases of uterine sarcoma each year. There’s different categories of the cancer, and rhabdomyosarcoma, which Ayala has, is extremely rare. There’s only a few hundred new cases of rhabdomyosarcoma each year in the U.S.
Ayala writes on GoFundMe that after her diagnosis, she underwent two surgeries to remove the tumor in her uterus and to install a port for chemotherapy treatment. Treatment for that tumor worked, but doctors found a new rhabdomyosarcoma tumor in her spleen. Today, she’s in her fourth round of inpatient chemo for that tumor, and it hasn’t been easy. Ayala writes on GoFundMe that the “aggressive” treatment has led to side effects like “muscle failure, shakes and hallucinations.” The good news: The chemo is working, and the tumor in her spleen has shrunk. And Ayala’s strength and amazing dance moves have now gone viral, inspiring others.
On Tuesday, Ayala shared the video of her dancing with her “chemo buddy” Danielle Andrus during treatment. In the clip, Ayala is wearing her hospital gown and hooked up to various medical devices, but that doesn’t hold her back from performing some seriously badass hip-hop moves. In just three days, more than six million people have watched the clip, and over 90,000 people have shared the video. On Ayala’s Instagram, more than 14,000 people have watched, too. The dance Ayala and Andrus perform is actually pretty viral itself—it’s called “Juju On That Beat.” But Ayala calls her version, “Juju On That Chemo.” Viewers have left encouraging comments, amazed at Ayala’s strength and offering their wishes for her recovery. “What an amazing spirit! You got this! Kick its ASS!!” wrote one commenter.
Ayala took to Facebook yesterday to thank everyone for their kindness. She never expected the video to go viral, and it’s lifted her spirits through this rough treatment. “I only hope I can inspire or motivate someone going through what I’m going through to not give up,” she wrote. “And encourage caregivers and chemo buddies to not always have to take things so serious all the time—to lighten up the mood and have a little fun!”
Watch Ayala and her friend “Juju On That Chemo” below.