Valley actress learns of cancer diagnosis with show still in production

PHOENIX — A Valley actress found she had cancer whereas the musical she was in was still in production.

If you occurred to catch her efficiency as half of the ensemble in ‘The Color Purple,’ you’d by no means know, that Savannah Alfred was about to face a problem larger than entertaining a full home on opening evening.

”When we began doing the show, and actually obtained into the run of it, I had a cough that will not go away,” she stated.

What she first thought was ongoing sciatica adopted by evening sweats, the reoccurring cough and even at occasions, shortness of breath throughout the show led to a turning level.

One specific show after she struggled to get her cough beneath management, her girlfriend steered they go to the emergency room.

”For theatre individuals, like, we don’t name out. When you do a show, the show should go on,” she stated.

So, with an understudy in her place, Savannah would begin a spherical of X-Rays and CT scans which confirmed she had stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A cancer that unfold all through her physique and might severely weaken the immune system.

”I used to be in tears actually as a result of I used to be like ‘man, I don’t need to depart the show,’” she stated. “It was really difficult for me to say, ‘I can’t do the show, I have to call out.’”

For Savannah, as soon as therapy started, an viewers full of individuals was now a high-risk environment.

Before she turned in her costume for a hospital robe, she obtained in a number of extra performances after she negotiated with her physician to delay the beginning of therapy.

Savannah laughed when requested if she “begged her doctor to allow her to fulfill her role in the show.”

“I did!” she smiled. “Just because the show to me is such an important show. It’s such a strong message. The overall message of ‘The Color Purple’ is hope. One line that I talk to myself and use it as encouragement is ‘the good lord works in mysterious ways.’”

Her final efficiency earlier than she began what she calls a “healing journey” was an added show organized by The Phoenix Theatre Company.

On a Sunday night, an viewers paid what they might to profit Savannah.

The night’s tickets, concession, and merchandise had been in a position to increase over $9,500 for her medical bills.

A video from that evening exhibits her longtime good friend and cast member maintain the viewers’s consideration after the show to share a number of phrases.

“I want to thank all of you for bringing the energy to our show tonight, which mirrors the energy that we all know Savannah has and will continue to have,” stated Savannah’s good friend and cast member.

After that evening, Savannah was in a position to jot down what she skilled saying goodbye to the theatre. The word was shared with Phoenix Theatre Company followers.

“Grateful does not even begin to describe how I feel. The amount of positive energy, support, and most importantly love shown from that one night has filled my heart and soul. Just saying thank you feels wrong. So I’ll say this instead. It’s times like these where you truly get a glimpse of who you are as a person. How you’ve affected people in your life and what your decisions throughout your journey have led people to think of you. A mirror was held to me and all I can say is I did not know I was this loved. To my village, my chosen family, my supporters, I love you all and although it could never be enough… Thank you for all you’ve given to me in every way. As my stage manager always says, I’ll see you on the other side.”

Now weeks after beginning her therapy, Savannah says docs have informed her, her blood work is “really great” and her physique has been responding nicely to the prescribed therapy.

With ‘Dream Girls’ on the calendar – she’s hoping for an opportunity to get again on the stage.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Savannah to assist with medical therapies.

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