If you know me, you know that I love to dance. You also know that I can’t dance to save my life.
But my bad dancing can save someone else’s.
This year, I’ve gotten involved in the planning of the annual Dance Marathon held here at NC State. If you’ve never heard of Dance Marathon, you should definitely check to see if your campus hosts one because it’s pretty freaking awesome.
Dance Marathon was first inspired by Ryan White, a fellow student who passed away from HIV/AIDS, which he contracted from a bad blood transfusion just before his freshman year.
Throughout his struggles with the disease, including public misconceptions, Ryan spoke out. Despite being slandered and unfairly treated by both his school district and his community, he handled it with compassion and grace, even appearing before schools and fundraisers around the country to testify on his experience with AIDS.
Ryan passed away in April 1990. In memory of his life and work, Dance Marathon began at Indiana University, the university that Ryan was planning to attend.
Dance Marathon has since spread to universities and high schools across the United States and Canada -- offering hours of dancing, games, entertainment and getting to know the families and patients being treated at local hospitals.
Last year alone, over $26 million was raised by Miracle Network Dance Marathons benefitting hundreds of hospitals in North America.
Now, I didn’t just join this movement because I really love to stand for hours on end with no breaks, or because I can’t wait to show off my amazing collection of dad-moves on the dance floor. I joined because of the children who don’t have the luxury of being able to stand like we do.
What were some of your favorite things to do growing up? Now imagine not being able to do any of them.
Most pediatric patients spend the majority of their lives in their hospital room, unable to do the things we took for granted as children -- playing outside, sleeping over at friends' houses, going to the pool or beach, etc.
Dance Marathon ensures that no child or family has to fight this battle of pediatric illness alone, giving the kids an experience to remember and showing them a community that loves and supports them.
Because that’s really what this organization is about. Coming together as a community FOR THE KIDS.