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Memphis native teaches Hip Hop In Heels™ to raise money and awareness

Published: Oct. 12, 2014 at 1:25 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2014 at 12:47 AM CDT
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While waiting for approval for The Choice Program, Harrington was recently dropped from...
While waiting for approval for The Choice Program, Harrington was recently dropped from Medicare; leaving her with no insurance. (Photo Source, Brandee Evans, Facebook)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It's estimated that more than 2.3 million people in the world have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Symptoms vary in severity and type.

There is no way to prepare for, or predict, the disease.

So what do you do when it affects the person you love most? You keep dancing.

Memphis native Brandee Evans is a world-renowned dancer and choreographer. Gracing the stage with the likes of Ledisi, Katy Perry and Usher, the former University of Memphis and Grizzlies dancer is no stranger to making moves. But these days, she's moving her feet for a new reason: her mother.

"Our mom was very active before this incurable disease came into her life. She would walk four miles a day, while my brothers and I rode our bikes beside her," Evans said. "She was super mom. Unfortunately, super mom met her kryptonite."

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis more than 10 years ago, Diana Harrington doesn't get around like she use to. In fact, MS prevents the mother of three from getting around at all.

Multiple sclerosis has robbed Harrington of the ability to walk, write her name or even sit up on her own. In light of a recent fall, which left her injured and alone for hours until she was discovered, Harrington now requires 24-hour care.

As her condition continues to deteriorate, attacking her brain and causing her to slip into early alzheimers, so have the funds for her care. Harrington was recently dropped from Medicare.

Evans and her siblings created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to cover medical expenses, but the dancer and teacher knew it wasn't enough.

Blending her love of dance and her mother, and using the power of social media and her infamous Hip Hop In Heels™ classes, Evans began a series of charity dance workshop to raise awareness for the disease and help pay for her mother's medical bills.

In addition to learning confidence building moves from Evans, attendees also have the opportunity to learn exclusive routines from other professional instructors. All of this while helping a Memphis mother live comfortably as she fights a battle with a progressive disease.

The workshops are still going strong across the world, and the siblings crowdfunded nearly $8,700. But without insurance, those funds left as quickly as they arrived.

"We are still praying for a change in her insurance status. Today [October 10, 2014], we received a bill from the rehabilitation center for over $6,000," Evans wrote in her latest online update.

To make a donation towards Harrington's medical expenses, you can visit: www.gofundme.com/dianah.

For more information on multiple sclerosis, visit: www.nationalmssociety.org/.

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