Each year, community leaders put on their dancing shoes in hopes of winning the title that is earned at the Dancing with Our Stars Gala. All this fun and friendly competition among participants benefits the Children’s Tumor Foundation and supports the Arkansas chapter’s research and mission: to end and find a cure for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that disturbs cell growth in the nervous system, causing tumors to form on nerve tissue.
CTF also provides support for children and families affected by NF. A portion of the proceeds is donated for grants to send Arkansas teens to the International NF Summer Camp held at Camp Kostopulos (Camp K).
Leading up to the grand event, we’re putting each star in the spotlight and introducing them on our blog. They will compete for the dancing title and mirror ball trophy at the Sept. 8 gala, in addition to soliciting contributions + votes prior to the event.
Meet Dr. Chad Rodgers (partnered with Monika Crissler of Dance Time with Monika)
Chad, partner at Little Rock Pediatric Clinic and corporate medical director for Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, enjoys any opportunity to hit the dance floor. He dance career began during the four years of Little Rock Junior Cotillion and he even holds a Tango certificate from a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Chad attended Catholic High School and earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed his internship and residency in pediatrics and served as chief resident at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Chad firmly believes nothing you do for children is ever wasted – a quote by Garrison Keillor. As a devoted child advocate, he is willing to do anything to combat the issues surrounding children’s health.
He and his husband Eric enjoy traveling and spending time with friends and family, especially their new granddaughter, and their two labs, Malak and Sophie.
Inviting Arkansas: Why do you choose to live and volunteer in Central Arkansas?
Chad: I was born here and have lived most of my life in a five-mile radius. I love this place. When I went to college, I didn’t think I would come back. But I’m glad I did and love living here – great schools, excellent health care, a variety of things to do and see… I want this to be a place where everyone wants to live.
IA: Type of dance you’ve always wanted to learn?
Chad: I’ve always wanted to be really good at hip hop. I can get things going, but it always falls apart somewhere.
IA: Dance claim to fame?
Chad: My YMCA moves during my freshmen year in med school. After that, everyone seemed to know my name.
IA: Why did you agree to be a Dancing with Our Stars contestant?
Chad: I love this event! And I have a few kiddos in my practice who live with NF. I have seen the struggles they and their parents have faced when trying to get the best care for their child. Resources can be limited sometimes, and it gets really tough when they get older. There is lots to be done!
IA: What do you most look forward to about the evening?
Chad: Having fun with friends and raising funds. Our group of dancers is a lot of fun and shares the same goals – we have already had lots of good laughs.
IA: What are you nervous about?
Chad: Slipping and falling – things like that seem to happen even when I’m not dancing.