A little girl battling cerebral palsy inspired a group of fire fighters to show off their best dance moves in a Youtube video aimed at spreading awareness and raising money for her life changing surgery.
4-year-old Finley Smallwood was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a disorder that causes impairment of motor skills, at birth. This disorder forces her to use a walker to get around and makes it difficult to participate in one of her favorite activities: dancing.
“She sees other kids playing and she asks, ‘I want to get up too.’ She knows to ask, and so it tugs at your heart a little bit,” said Christina Smallwood, mother to Finely.
When Christina learned that Finley would have to trade in her walker for a wheelchair in order to attend school, she began looking into other options, and that’s when she discovered Finley was a perfect candidate for selective dorsal rhizotomy, a procedure that may help her to walk on her own someday.
Although potentially life changing, the procedure was extremely costly, leaving Christina to search for a way to raise money in order to change the life of her child. That’s when the Dare to Dance Challenge was born.
“She [Christina] did this little blog and this dance video of her and Finley dancing to the Meghan Trainor song [Better When I’m Dancin’], and right then and there I went, ‘Oh my gosh, this could be Finley’s miracle,'” said family friend Brittany Rodriguez to ABC 7 News.
The family then created a website for donations and began to spread the word about the challenge, daring people to dance as a way to raise awareness about cerebral palsy, as well as money for Finley’s surgery, and it didn’t take long for the Los Angeles Fire Department to answer the call.
The Los Angeles Fire Department agreed to the challenge, and created a video, not only showing off all the fire crew’s best moves, but featuring a smiling Finley, dancing among the fire trucks.
The video quickly helped the Smallwoods to raise their goal of $60,000, and at the end of 2017, Finley underwent the first life-changing surgery in a series of many, with astounding success. Doctors now say that, by the end of this year, Finley is expected to be able to walk, run, and dance, all on her own.
Check out the video of the LAFD showing off their best dance moves below.