DM Silver Year: We’re Here to Stay


A solemn hush falls over the ballroom of the IMU. Heads bow. All that can be heard is the stifled sounds of people remembering the lives of the kiddos Dancing in our Hearts. It’s silent as the Family Relations Director Yasmeen Rose and Hospital Director Gillian Fiandaca read off the names of all the kiddos who have lost their battle with cancer. The names of the kiddos who still encourage Dance Marathon each day extends into the minutes, and the room is reminded to celebrate the lives they lived.

After complete silence of a room holding over three thousand people, the chant of “FTK” begins. It starts slowly, led by the executive council, and is quickly picked up by the dancers in the ballroom. It picks up speed and sound until all that can be heard is the resounding message for why we are all here: For the Kids.

The next twenty-four hours will include some of both the most emotionally taxing and rewarding moments of your life. You will meet so many incredible families and so many brave kiddos. And you will realize the difference you’ve made on the tote board in twenty-four hours.  

If you let it, the Big Event will change your life in so many ways. In the next twenty-four hours, go in with an open mind and heart; let your emotions out, and let these stories in. Your impact can be shaped not just in the lives of these families, but in yours as well.

Last but not least: have fun, and take it all in. When your feet start to hurt and your eyes start to droop, turn around and look for the DIH candle to remember why you are here. As Family Relations director Yasmeen Rose says, “As long as cancer is here, we’re going to stay.”