11-Year-Old Cancer Survivor With One Leg Dances With Professional Tapper Lord Peg Leg

by Kelly Glass
Kelly Glass is a writer whose work focuses on the intersections of parenting, health, and pop culture. She lives in an Illinois college town with her educator husband, wildly ambitious sons, dog, and several fish. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Romper,, HelloGiggles,, What to Expect, and more.

When you love to dance, nothing can stop you from feeling the music. That seems to hold true for cancer survivors Abri Bentley, 11, and professional dancer Evan Ruggiero, 28, also known as Lord Peg Leg, who are still dancing together.

Their story is one of triumph and a new friendship. Abri, from Scottsdale, Arizona, began dancing at a young age but was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma that caused her to lose her leg. Evan also lost his leg to cancer. Neither of them gave up on dancing.

Professional tap dancer Evan  saw Abri dancing on Instagram and wanted to meet her. That’s where it all started. Abri met up with Evan, whom she calls her biggest inspiration, and they trained together for a couple of days.

Evan was a young dancer like Abri. He began dancing when he was five years old, and went on to dance with acclaimed ensembles in his youth. When he lost his leg in college, he relearned how to tap dance on one leg. He taught Abri to do the same. “My doctor said I could do anything I wanted except tap dancing, and so after he left the room, I said, ‘Watch me,'” Abri said.

Recently, Evan’s travels took him to Arizona, where he met up again with Abri, and these two amazing cancer survivors picked up where they left off.

Watch Evan and Abri do what they do best — dance — in this inspiring video.

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