Becoming A Part Of Something Bigger Than Yourself
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Health and Wellness

Becoming A Part Of Something Bigger Than Yourself

My Dance Marathon experience.

Becoming A Part Of Something Bigger Than Yourself

This past week I experienced one of the most memorable nights that I have had in college thus far. Elmira College hosted its inaugural Dance Marathon on Saturday, April 2. For those of you who do not know what Dance Marathon is, it is a philanthropic organization geared towards raising funds for local neonatal and pediatric care and services. Our Dance Marathon specifically raised money for the Neonatal Intensive Care unit (NICU) and the pediatric floor at Arnot Health. The event itself is a huge party for children who have come into contact with either the NICU or the pediatric services at Arnot in the past. We refer to these children as our “miracle children” – because honestly that is exactly what they are – miracles! Many of these children would never have been able to survive if it had not been for the tremendous efforts of the nurses and doctors at the various hospitals. Dance Marathon is designed to celebrate them.

To say the very least, it was a very emotional night. Each time a miracle family arrived, it was announced, a song was played, and everyone present was to kneel down while the miracle family walked down the red carpet and onto the stage to tell their story. We were not even an hour into the event, and I was already getting teary-eyed. I had read these families’ stories prior to the event, but listening to them in person was incredibly powerful. The story that struck me the most was a mother who talked about how when you are pregnant, planning a family and planning a new life, you never think about all of the things that can go horribly wrong. Most people might think, “Well, that could never happen to me,” or that everything will go perfectly like it does on television and in movies. But in all actuality, things go awry all of the time, much more often than we would like to think is even possible. So the question is, what do we do next when things do not go exactly as we had planned in our heads? That is where hope and perseverance come into play, and of course the hard work and determination of the nurses and doctors. The money raised at Dance Marathon will go toward families in need of gas or money to stay in a hotel nearby the hospital, or it will go towards supplies such as warmers and ventilators, both of which are staples to any NICU.

Overall, the night was magical, inspirational, and powerful. I am truly honored to have had the chance to be a part of something so life-changing. The miracle families were all so wonderful! They welcomed us into their lives with open hearts and allowed us all to see the bigger picture. The miracle children were full of energy and allowed us college students to be little kids again. We played hopscotch, corn hole, life-size hungry hippo, we did Zumba and danced all night like our lives depended on it. I want to thank everyone involved, especially my fellow hospital relations committee members. We did it! The week leading up to Dance Marathon was a stressful one, with nightly prep meetings, and very little sleep, but it was totally worth it! I am so excited to participate in Dance Marathon again next year. If you ever get the chance, I strongly encourage you to become a part of something that is bigger than yourself, because the reward is unbelievable and the memories are unforgettable.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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