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The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Dance Marathon commits $1 million to the Children’s Hospital

The University of Iowa Dance Marathon is pledging a $1 million donation to help the UI Children’s Hospital revamp outdated cancer-research facilities, UI Foundation officials will announce today.

The gift is the student group’s largest single contribution to date and marks a shift in focus for the pediatric cancer advocates.

While Dance Marathon has historically provided pediatric cancer patients and their parents emotional support and day-to-day comforts, including toys, meals, and activities, the decision to pay for a research facility was just as important, said UI senior Kyle Walters, a member of the group’s allocations committee.

“It’s not just looking at the bricks and mortar so much, it’s the potential and possibilities that could come from it,” said Walters, who was recently named the executive director of Dance Marathon. “It’s a move in a new direction.”

The $1 million donation — supplemented by $400,000 from the Carver College of Medicine — will go toward what campus medical officials say is a necessary renovation to the pediatric hematology and oncology research facilities in the UI Medical Laboratories.