Actor diagnosed with MS set to perform dance piece in new show examining mobility
Sheila North Wilson, CTV Winnipeg
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2014 3:25PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 26, 2014 5:46PM CST
Embracing her latest role as a warrior princess, actor Debbie Patterson is ready for her a series of performances for her new play “Crutch” playing at Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers studio.
But she admits she's no ordinary heroine.
"It's the first dance piece I performed in which is pretty exciting. And it's sort of an exploration of mobility. I have MS so I have mobility issues," Patterson said.
Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Patterson has needed aids for walking more and more - for performances and everyday life.
But it hasn't hampered her ability and willingness to perform.
"In my case, the experience with living with MS is sort of like aging sped up right? So the issues I deal with daily are the ones we're all going to have to face eventually," she adds.
Patterson is no stranger to performance.
Before and after being diagnosed with MS, she wrote and danced in dozens of productions in the local arts community and was instrumental in many of them, like Shakespeare In the Ruins.
One of her plays in 2010, “Molotov Circus,” featured her entire family - a family which now must watch her transform from an able-bodied dancer to one with more challenges.
But it seems her optimism for life is unshakeable as she looks forward to her future
"Who knows, I could keep going for decades," she said.
For now, Patterson said she'll just keep trying to figure out how to live in her new body which she says is in a constant state of discovery.