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Tapping Out Childhood Cancer Gala Celebrates Grande Finale, Inspiring Cancer Patients and Survivors

Local dancers and other performers will join fellow dancer and cancer survivor Alex Swader for the Grande Finale of the Tapping Out Childhood Cancer Gala on Sunday, Sept. 24. This year marks the 9th and final year of this event, which includes a performance at the Alabama Theatre (1817 3rd Ave. N., Birmingham) at 2 p.m., followed by a VIP after-party/celebration at Gabrella Manor (8912 4th Ave. S., Birmingham) at 5 p.m.

Alex Swader, 17, of Mt. Olive, is a 9-year cancer survivor and award-winning dancer. Swader organized Tapping Out Childhood Cancer after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2008 and undergoing three surgeries and eight months of chemotherapy. While he was still in a hospital bed receiving treatment, Swader was dreaming of his return to dance and thinking of what he could do to help other kids going through a similar experience.

The Tapping Out Childhood Cancer Gala is a family-friendly event that showcases local and national talent and dance styles. The show will include performances by at least a dozen dance studios from across the Birmingham metro area. This year, they will be joined by dancers from all over the United States and Canada, who perform on a pre-professional and professional level, members of Artists Giving Hope which is based out of Los Angeles, and professional companies from Birmingham and Atlanta, such as The Alabama Ballet, Arova Contemporary Ballet and Project 7 Dance Company.

Tickets are $20 for the show, or $35 for both the show and the VIP after-party/celebration (which will include dinner and dancing with the childhood cancer families) if purchased in advance online (ticket prices will slightly increase at the door). Children under age 8 are admitted free.

There will also be a Tapping Out Childhood Cancer one-day Dance Intensive on Saturday, Sept. 23. This will be held at The Alabama Ballet Center for Dance (2726 1st Ave. S., Birmingham) beginning at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 and ages 8 and older will sign up for either intermediate (8-13) or advanced (14-18).

Tickets for all events are available at

Swader’s Dancers Fighting Cancer group has raised more than $250,000 for cancer research at Children’s of Alabama. Swader’s efforts were recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals when they presented him with Young Philanthropist Award in 2012.

About the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders
The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders’ unique partnership of local, national and international centers of excellence provides care and treatment for approximately 1,500 children and adolescents with all types of cancers and blood disorders in the state of Alabama and the region each year. The cure rate for childhood cancers has risen from only 50 percent to 84 percent in the last 20 years and strokes in patients with sickle cell disease have decreased 90 percent through standardized screening processes. As a founding member of the Children’s Oncology Group – a worldwide clinical trials organization – research and innovative therapies done at Children’s and UAB help to save the lives of children right down the street and all over the world.

About Children’s of Alabama
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 46 other states and seven foreign countries last year, representing more than 676,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at