The Word: Will Valerie Harper finish ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

Actress Valerie Harper. Credit: Reuters
Valerie Harper isn’t letting a recent diagnosis slow her down.
Credit: Reuters

Valerie Harper is not the kind of person who lets excuses hold her back from the things she wants to do. Even if that excuse is a darn good one: terminal brain cancer.

When the 74-year-old “Rhoda” star was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year, doctors told her she wouldn’t live past June. But since then she’s done so unexpectedly well, she is appearing on this season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

“There are so many people living with cancer and even dying with it, but not of it,” Harper told NBC. “So I thought this is a good chance to do it. Do ‘Dancing With the Stars’ since my doctors have told me to exercise and not to worry about any physical problem with the kind of cancer I have; I thought, ‘Why not do it?’”

So far, there’s no sign the length of the gig will be cut short by anything but her dancing — or, possibly, an entirely unrelated injury. ”The problem I’m having is my knee, you know, not the cancer!” she said.

Quit whining, Harper. You don’t hear all the other terminal cancer patients in grueling athletic competitions fussing about a little knee pain, do you?


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