BASICALLY FEARLESS

Watch: This dancer turned her struggle with cancer into an amazing work of art

By Adam Freelander

When Brianna Mercado was 15, she was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer. Six years and 14 rounds of chemotherapy later, her doctors declared her “cancer free.” And then they found a lump in her neck.

Mercado, a professional dancer, turned to her art to channel her emotions about her experience. Frustrated but also strikingly upbeat, she spoke to Quartz about making “Self Portrait,” the nine-minute film that came out of that artistic process. “Getting cancer for the second time was my biggest fear,” Mercado says. “Now that it’s happened, I think I’m basically fearless.”