Thursday, June 20, 2019

When I think of summer, a thousand blissful memories wander through my mind – the smell of a campfire burning under a moonlit sky; the carefree laughter of my friends as we splash each other in the lake; the giddy whispers among cabin mates my first night away at camp. Summer should be a time of relaxation, of adventure, of too late nights and too loud laughter. It should never be a time for sadness, for pain, or for days stuck indoors receiving chemotherapy treatments. But for far too many kids in the world, the reality is that they don't get to take a break from cancer to enjoy the outdoors. All our brave kids at Stead Family Children’s Hospital are spending the warm months fighting a fight they never asked for, and one they certainly don't deserve. It is because of their strength and resilience in the face of such a horrible disease that the UIDM 26 Leadership Team launched our summer campaign, Fight For More Summers. Until we find a cure, we will continue to fight alongside each and every one of our families and kiddos with love and hope in our hearts.

To show our families they aren't alone in their fight, I asked a few people why they were dedicated to fighting for more summers. Here are just a few of their reasons why:

“I want every child to be able to spend their summer at the pool, playing baseball, and hanging out with their friends. I want a future where no child has to spend their summer inside a hospital fighting a fight they didn’t ask for.”
-Morgan Smith, FSL Chair, Campus Relations Committee

“I fight for more summers because no child should ever have to spend time in a hospital bed!”
-Sophia Harwood, Morale Captain Group 12

“I fight for more summers because everyone deserves to have some fun and being able to relax during this time of year whether it be hanging out with friends, going to the beach, or just staying inside and playing video games. These kids and their families may not have as much freedom as we do with the activities, but we are here to help them and make this time of year feel as “summer” as possible for these guys while they are dealing with this terrible disease called cancer."
-Daniel Phetmanysay, Campus Relations Committee

“I fight for more summers because I want to make the greatest impact I can, the kids deserve everything and I want to give them that!”
-Megan Boland, Creative Committee

“I fight for more summers because every child deserves a chance to make memories by the pool and not in a hospital room. Every child deserves to experience a summer night roasting marshmallows for s’mores and singing camp songs around a campfire. Kids are having their childhood summers taken away and we won’t stop fighting until every child has the chance to be a kid and have goofy summer memories to look back on.”
-Erin Glenn, Public Relations Director


Dance Marathon 26 is dedicated to fighting together for a cure so that every kid diagnosed with cancer can experience the summer they deserve.

So now I ask: why do YOU fight for more summers? And how are you going to use this summer to make a difference for our families?

By: Grace Tencer, DM 26 Marketing Chair