12 CLASS NOTES PLAY VIDEO Ballroom Healing CU NURSING FACULTY MEMBER DANCES TOWARD RECOVERY By Debra Melani Linda Johnson practices with her dance partner Timmy Merz CU College of Nursing | Fall/Winter 2019 A sense of sadness struck Linda Johnson just before the phone rang. Although it marked the end of a long road, the three-time cancer survivor was facing a breast implant surgery. She immediately said yes. DETERMINED NATURE OVERCOMES ADVERSITY After being partnered with Timmy Merz and making sure the owner of Booth Dancesport Ballroom in Denver was aware of her health issues, Johnson began her dance training - and what turned into an ongoing healing journey. Battling her sinking feeling, Johnson answered the phone. Would she join "Dancing with the Broomfield Stars?" a person from her local Broomfield Community Foundation asked. "Linda has improved probably more than any other student I've ever worked with," said Merz, whose athletic background and approach meshed with Johnson's. "Not a lot of people really commit to going that deep and being that vulnerable, but Linda had no problem doing that." "I knew I had to do it," said Johnson, DNP, assistant professor in the University of Colorado College of Nursing and specialty director of the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner program. Facing down cancer three times might have had something to do with Johnson's courage. More healing. More downtime. No swimming.