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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 22, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 8
Cap Hill dancer diagnosed with cancer
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Cap Hill dancer diagnosed with cancer

Daniel Porras will chronicle his experience for SGN

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Daniel Porras is hot. He dances for dollars - dollars his fans at R Place gladly give him - and he's a got a smile that could melt even the coldest heart. Porras has got anything a young man of 22 could want. He has the respect and love of his family and friends, is gainfully employed, and is in a relationship that makes him happy.

Yes, Daniel Porras has everything ... except his health.

Porras, whose outward appearance is strong and chiseled, was diagnosed with oral cancer last week - a diagnosis so sudden that the doctors at UW haven't even gotten back all of his blood work yet to tell him just how good - or bad - he has it. What he does know is that he's got low white blood cells, there's a lump on his tongue (so small no one can see it), and a mass on his esophagus.

Porras has never smoked, and he doesn't chew or engage in any other behavior that would point to a reason why cancer is growing inside of him. The doctors, he says, are perplexed.

A TRAUMATIC DIAGNOSIS
'When they first told me, I didn't hear the word 'cancer.' I shut it out,' he told Seattle Gay News. 'I just wasn't trying to hear that particular word. So whenever they said it, I ignored it.'

Porras' reaction is understandable because his father passed away a few years ago from lung cancer. He was 74.

'To me, cancer equals death,' Porras told me. 'The first thing I thought of was, 'Who am I going to give my stuff to?'

Of course he eventually shook himself out of his trauma, and began to listen intently to what his treatment would consist of. His first day of radiation therapy was last Friday. He completed his first full week of radiation treatment this week and sleeping now takes the place of dancing - the treatment just takes the wind right out of him.

Daniel Porras is a sweetheart. He just is. Throughout his ordeal this week, he was thinking more about friends and family, worried that he slept too much and wouldn't be able to see everyone.

He told the world of his diagnosis earlier this week, via Facebook - a simple video that will break your heart. Still, throughout it, he smiles. Anyone who knows him takes comfort in that smile. The day Porras stops smiling, there will be something seriously wrong. Until then, we can rest assured that he is doing well.

TELLING HIS STORY
I got to thinking, 'Gay and fighting cancer. There's got to be more men out there.' And of course, there are. But who is speaking in solidarity with them or for them when they can't speak anymore? No one, really. So I approached him about writing a regular column about his experience fighting the disease, and, being as brave and as positive a soul as he is, Porras accepted.

I hope our readers embrace him the way his friends and family have. You'll be hearing from Daniel Porras next week in the first installment of his column. It's yet to be named but he's excited about it, and we hope you are too.

'What amazes me the most is the people I meet every day,' says Porras. 'Their stories. Their smiles. Another day of recovery is another day to be in this planet! If I am worn out or not I will always smile.'

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