Irish Dancing for a Cure


Photo Oona Harrigan

Oona Harrigan at Boston College

Jake Holtzman and Will McGlynn

You decide you want to support cancer research through the Rutgers Cancer Institute’s annual Century for the Cure Bike Race. Unfortunately, you’re not much of a biker but you still want to help. What should you do? It’s simple, donate to Oona Harrigan; all donations go to fund cancer research and in return, she performs an Irish dance in your honor.

Harrigan is a WHS alumna and attended Boston College where she earned a degree in biology. Today she is working at Rutgers Cancer Institute, trying to find a cure. 

Harrigan has been a dancer since she was a kid. When her mother took her to her first dance class, Harrigan said, “[Dancing] was just something I did once a week, it wasn’t really serious until I went into my first competition in fourth grade.” 

Harrigan wanted to help raise money for cancer research by participating in races but she does not enjoy running. Harrigan had to figure out a new and innovative way to raise money, so  the first thing that came to her mind was Irish dancing.

“I asked a few of my friends about it and they thought it was a cool idea so then it started and I was having so much fun and people continued to donate so it just kept going,” Harrigan explained. Harrigan has danced all around Westfield, with the mascot at Boston College and with the Somerset Patriots mascot. 

Currently, Harrigan works for, supports and raises money for the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick. The Rutgers Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute in New Jersey and has been growing and learning for 20 years. Harrigan has raised almost $9,000 for cancer research in just a few months and has no end goal in terms of money. She danced and raised money up until the Century for the Cure Bike Race on Sept. 22nd this year and she continues to dance for cancer research today and is always looking for outlets to further her cause.  

Harrigan has created a fundraising website as well as an Instagram account to share her nearly 300 dancing videos and support cancer research. 

Century for the cure team page

Instagram Account