My Dance Marathon Giving Page

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My Dance Marathon Giving Page

What is Dance Marathon?

Dance Marathon is one of the largest student-run organizations at the University of Iowa. Over the past 20 years, Dance Marathon has raised almost 13 million dollars to benefit over 400 families who have been treated at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Unit. During my third year at the University of Iowa, I have been busy partaking in events to raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer. On February 7th and 8th, Dance Marathon culminates with the 24-hour BIG Event to celebrate the children’s fight against cancer and remember those who have lost their battle. During the 24 hours, I will not sit, have caffeine, or sleep, all in honor of these courageous kiddos battling pediatric cancer.

Why You Should Donate

Dance Marathon provides:

  1. Emotional and financial support for families and patients in the cancer unit
  2. Educational resources for diagnosed children
  3. Comfort Kits containing parking voucher, gas voucher, and meal voucher plus other care items for families
  4. Child Life Assistants to aid in the holistic treatment of the patients
  5. Technology in patient rooms such as flat screen TV’s, DVD players, Play Station 2’s, and laptops
  6. Several fun family events throughout the year

In February 2010, Dance Marathon, pledged five million dollars over the next seven years to the building of the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, and now, four years later, grounds have officially been “broken.” When completed in March of 2016, the new Children’s Hospital will be a great center of growth and aid for the state of Iowa. Through the five million dollar donation, Dance Marathon has the honor of the eleventh floor being named “The University of Iowa Dance Marathon Pediatric Cancer Center.” Dance Marathon is excited to see what wonderful things will come out of the hospital, both for the Dance Marathon families and the children of the entire state. 

My Connection with and Journey in Dance Marathon

When I started with Dance Marathon my freshman year of college, I got involved because I loved kids and it was a huge organization to get into and meet new people. Then, my Grandpa Bob had a cancer relapse, and my work for DM took on a whole new meaning. He passed away that Winter, so my experience at that Big Event was an emotional one, and I shed more than a few tears as I took part in memorial services in remembrance of my Grandpa. With the physical and emotional strain, and without a whole lot of friends with me, I almost wasn’t able to make it through the Big Event, and had to spend some time in the first aid room. But my family sent me support via messages and phone calls, and I was able to get back on my feet in time to cut my hair and donate it to Locks of Love, get some visits from friends, and dance through power hour. The experience really changed my life. 

The next year, I was determined to get more involved, and get my friends into it. I became a Family Representative , which means that I got to write letters of correspondence and support to one of the families helped by DM. I raised over $500 dollars that year, and had one of my best friends at the Big Event with me. We had a great time meeting and playing with the family our group was dancing for. 

This year will be another emotional Big Event for me, because we lost my Great Grandpa Chuck to lung cancer this holiday season. He was an important patriarch in my family, and we miss him very much. With his loss and a lot of other things going on in my life this past semester, I wasn’t able to get as much fundraising done as I would have liked, and now I’m scrambling to make enough to get to the Big Event–we need at least $400 each. I can’t imagine not dancing in honor of the family I’ve lost, or even the family I’ve watched fight and survive (we have a lot of those too), but I need help! 

How to Donate

It’s easy! If you can, please visit my Online Giving Page. It’s the easiest and quickest way to donate. If you can’t donate at this time, or would like to help in another way, please consider sharing this link on your various social media platforms. Everything helps! THANK YOU!

#1 Party School

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Party SchoolSo at this moment it is 12:41 in the AM after what started off as a pretty chill Sunday evening. And then, please pardon my french, the shit hit the motherfucking fan.

Some of you may know that the University of Iowa is the country’s #1 Party School, or have heard about Vodka Sam. Now, I absolutely love my school and love being a Hawkeye, and usually when people bring this up, I counter with things like:

Yes, lots of people in Iowa City party hard, but that’s a choice you make, and there are so many other great options for alcohol free fun and culture that lots of students take advantage of. 

Yes, many students at Iowa party frequently, but we’re also ranked with a top ten student-run philanthropy (The University of Iowa Dance Marathon) and have been ranked in the top 5 for student volunteer hours. 

Yes, Iowa Fraternity and Sorority Life can get pretty wild, but many in the Greek community, especially the members of our Multicultural Greek Council (look for my picture on their page!) and my siblings in Gamma Rho Lambda, are working to change what it means to be Greek –without alcohol in the mix. 

And so on, and so forth; you get the picture. But tonight, I have to concede that sometimes my peers here in Iowa City really live up to that reputation. I was relaxing at home, watching nature movies on Netflix with my roommate, enjoying a hot cup of coffee (I will drink coffee at pretty much any hour), and generally having a very chill and lovely evening. Then, the roomie warns me that one of her friends is going to be stopping by; he was drunk and needed a place to come sit for a while and hang out. Let’s not mention that I didn’t even think it strange at the time that he would be out and drunk on a Sunday evening…

So this kid showed up, dropped into our comfiest chair, and after chatting for a while fell asleep (or maybe passed out, in hindsight). A little bit later, he woke up and went rushing to the bathroom. I knew he would throw, and was worried that there might be some clean up, but figured it would be minor, and that my roomie would probably take the brunt of the responsibility since it was her friend. Little did I know…

Not long after this, that inebriated young man came stumbling out of our bathroom, apologizing up a storm, and slurring his words more than a little bit. All I really caught was, ”Your toilet flooded…” before I was on my feet and at the bathroom doorway. What I saw inside was horrifying.

He really meant it when he said FLOOD. The floor was covered in at least an inch of water, and more in some places, with some unmentionable bits floating around, not to mention the splashes of his puke all over the shower curtain, side of the tub, wall, and toilet. We live on the fourth floor, our bathroom has no drain, and we only have Swiffer for mopping. I was terrified we were going to end up flooding the whole freakin’ building… Instead, we put on our rain-boots, soaked up the water with just about every towel we own, bleached the crap of everything, and did a quick couple loads of laundry.

Currently, even though it is -1 degree outside, we have some windows open and fans going to get rid of the bleach and vomit smell. Thank God we have two bathrooms, because I may never use that one again.

Moral of the story? PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. It’s okay to have fun and loosen up sometimes, you don’t need to pass out, black out, fall over, or vomit all over your friend’s apartment to do that. Have someone sober with you to monitor your intake and make sure you get home okay, and to take care of you if you do go a little overboard. Also, please show some courtesy to your hosts. 🙂

Like I said, I wish this weren’t my second post here and first post with real content, but so it goes. Soon I can fill you in on how awesome my roommate is, how sucky our relationship with our other roommate is, Greek life at Iowa, and all sorts of other things!

Goodnight world,

Savannah