Cancer patient’s pre-surgery flash mob dance goes viral, inspires

Deborah Cohan, nervous about undergoing double mastectomy, did what few would be willing to do: get down to Beyonce for a flash mob dance party with her surgical team.

A video of the dance party at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco -- Cohan dancing near a gurney, her surgical team suited up and gyrating around her to Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied" -- went viral on the Internet. 

Cohan, recovering after being released on Wednesday, has been lauded for turning a difficult ordeal into an inspiration for others around the world. But Cohan, a San Francisco gynecologist who specializes in treating pregnant women with HIV, told ABC7-TV in San Francisco that the flash mob was more for her own therapy.

“I was more nervous about how the flash mob was going to go than how the surgery was going to go,” she said.


Cohan had sent out an appeal for the mass flash mob on her CaringBridge page for people to dance to the song and send in videos or photos of their dancing so she could view them during her recovery.

“I have visions of a healing video montage,” she wrote. “Nothing brings me greater joy than catalyzing others to dance, move, be in their bodies.”

It caught on, and neighbors, family and total strangers responded to her request to send in their own flash mob dance videos. Even Beyonce responded, posting the video of Cohan on her Facebook page with the message: “Deborah, you are awesome!”

One of Cohan’s neighbors, Yossi Fendel, sent in a video of him dancing by himself in his office. He recalled Cohan telling him, “‘You know, what you could do is you can dance. You can participate in this flash mob that I’m organizing,’ so that’s a nice feeling,” he said.


Her colleagues at San Francisco General Hospital also got in on the action, posting their own flash mob video to support Cohan .


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