Humans of DM: DJ Big D

“Since DM1, I never thought that 25 years later I would still be here. Since that very first DM, where we went through everything like dancing for 36 hours and dancing for the kids, it changed my life and I just knew I had to be here and be a part of it. DM does change lives and from doing Dance Marathon here, I (and the other DJs) have gone and done them at Iowa State, Missouri, DC, Chicago, and more because of what we do and what it all represents. It’s been a privilege and honor just to be a part of it. Especially this one because it has grown from what it was to what it is now…I want to say I don’t even recognize it anymore, but you do because it’s still the same feelings. I like the fact that they’ve kept some things that definitely need to be a part of it, you know the candle and reading those names (which always gets to me). I’ve been there every year for that and there are names that always stick with me.

There was one moment from DM that always sticks with me, and it has to do with a little girl in Dance Marathon. I can’t remember the exact year it happened, but her song was the Dixie Chicks’ song, ‘Ready to Run.’ I remember that she sang that song and that she sang with all of her heart. She wasn’t doing too well at that Dance Marathon and not too long after that, things took a turn for the worst. One of the things she wanted to do was to have another Dance Marathon. I don’t know how we did it, but in about a week we got as many people as we possibly could (DJs and everything) and we got to have one more Dance Marathon for her. The last thing I remember was that even as sick as she was, she sang that song. I always listen to that song and just think of her and it’s something that will always stay with me.

There are many other stories like that with other kiddos and one in particular, who I’ve known since she was a baby and now, she’s 21. You can just tell that we have this great rapport with each other. I talk to her all the time and she will text me all the time. DM has made these relationships and I don’t just talk to them once a week, once a year. I talk to them all the time. It’s family, and they will always remain family. It’s just been a great experience and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’m going to miss it, but I always say how you can never get rid of me. Somehow, Someway… I will always stop through and check in to see how Dance Marathon’s doing.” — DJ Big D