The seventeenth season (my gosh, has it really been that many?) of Dancing with the Stars kicks off tonight with a two-hour premiere on ABC. The only way I end up watching the reality competition is if there’s someone I really like competing for the mirror ball trophy (like Kirstie Alley) and this season that person happens to be actress Valerie Harper (probably best known as Mary Richards‘ kooky best friend Rhoda Morgenstern). I was devastated when she revealed her terminal brain cancer diagnosis earlier this year, given only three months to live. Yet somehow Valerie’s bravery, strength and courage has kept her going and she’s apparently doing well enough to compete on DWTS.
In a recent interview with AARP magazine, Valerie (age 74) talked about living life to the fullest saying, “I’m past my expiration date. But really, I am holding my own, as you can see. My motormouth has not stopped! Seriously, what I have is not curable. That’s not the way with this disease, apparently. But who knows? This diagnosis makes you live one day at a time, and that’s what everyone should do: Live moment to moment to moment.”
Valerie’s positive attitude is such an inspiration for everyone, that’s why I’ll definitely be tuning in tonight to cheer her on (along with her dance partner, cutie Tristan MacManus), plus I’ll actually vote! Thankfully, this time around the show will only be on once a week which I think is a really smart move, two nights is just stretching things out way too much. In the end, no matter how many weeks Valerie stays on Dancing with the Stars, she’s already a winner in everyone’s eyes, may god bless her!