When I went to orientation over the summer, I saw Dance Marathon tabling there. They talked to me a little bit about the organization and how it works before I moved on to the next table. Right then I was pretty set on participating.
In the following months, I began fundraising. I sent out my link to friends and family in hopes of receiving donations. It took a while but through donations from my family and friends (plus the help of matching hours), I was able to reach the "commitment level" to be able to attend the marathon.
At first, I was really excited about dancing in the marathon; but, as it got closer and closer I got a little more nervous. I didn't understand how I was going to be able to stand for all that time. Don't get me wrong, I knew it was for an amazing cause. I just didn't know how I would do it.
Finally, the day of the marathon arrived. Thankfully, I didn't have Friday classes so I was able to sleep in, finish preparing and just laying in bed until it was time to meet up with my group. Being able to sleep in was probably one of my biggest blessings that day.
My group and I arrived at the Civic Center at around 2 o'clock for check-in. The check-in process was relatively quick and we were actually in the Civic Center a little while later. For the next hour or two, we got to sit as we waited for the opening ceremony to start. By the end of it, I actually felt ready to stand. The opening ceremony was very helpful. They showed us where everything would be during our time at the marathon, told us what they had in store for us, and introduced the miracle families. Getting to watch all of the miracle families run inside was an experience I'll never forget. The kids all looked so excited and it reminded everyone just why we were there.
At 4:30, we began standing for the next 20 hours. Now I won't pretend like that was easy at all times. I won't lie my feet hurt, I was tired and all I really wanted to do was lay down; but, then I would see the miracle children running around. That's what got me through. Knowing that throughout all this time I was helping these kids and other kids just like them.
So for anyone who is considering participating with Dance Marathon next year, I recommend that you do. I know that it's a big commitment and you're probably worried; but, it's worth it in the end. I promise you won't regret it.