January 23, 2011 - 6:30 PM
Yesterday I participated in one of UO's largest student-driven philanthropy events. Known as Dance Marathon, this 12-hour dance party brought together 550 Ducks for a non-stop day of dancing in the EMU Ballroom in the heart of campus. Dance Marathon was started on campus about five years ago to support Children's Miracle Network, a national organization that provides crucial financial support to families whose children are in the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Sacred Heart Medical Center here in Eugene. In addition to helping offset the cost of the children's medical bills, CMN also purchases life-saving equipment such as isolates for premature babies, which at $30,000 apiece is a hefty bill to front.
At first, I just signed up for Dance Marathon because a good friend of mine from the Leadershape Institute camp is the director of the event and I wanted to support her work. However, I quickly discovered that the cause hit a lot closer to home than I originally thought. I was also born fairly prematurely at 28 weeks and lived in an isolate at Gilette Children's Hospital in Minneapolis for the first two months of my life. Because I benefitted from such good care when I was a newborn, I felt like this was a meaningful way to give back to a cause that I was personally affected by.
Wow, what a day! I feel like I totally defied my own limits of what I thought I was capable of. Staying on my feet for twelve whole hours was no easy task, although I'm really proud of myself for making it all the way through, since it symbolizes what every parent goes through as they sit at their child's bedside in the hospital with little respite from their circumstances. Luckily, we were kept well entertained by local DJ's playing a mix of Top 40 hits and club scene music, as well as performances by Puddles the Duck, the Cheerleaders and the UO Dance Team.
I spent most of today vegging out in bed and reading trashy chick lit novels to give my feet and back a rest. The soreness is nothing, because it's all "For The Kids!"