Saturday, February 8, 2020

Congratulations Dancers! We have finally made it to the Big Event. You each have pushed your hardest and earned your spot here today. That is no easy task and I encourage all of you to celebrate your hard work throughout this year! Take pride in your accomplishments and dance your heart away tonight. You have earned it and we are so proud of each and every one of you.

Aside from celebrating tonight I also ask you to remember why you joined this fight and more importantly who motivated you to take on this journey against Pediatric Cancer. While this day is filled with lots of joy and enthusiasm, do not forget the harsh reality that our kiddos who dance with us tonight are facing every day. And most importantly do not forget the kiddos who are unable to dance with us here tonight, do not forget the kiddos who are Dancing in our Hearts tonight.

Although it can be easy to revel in the excitement of the Big Event, do not lose sight of why you are here. Please enjoy all the fun of silent disco, power hour, lip-sync battle and more but don't forget to take time out of today to honor the kiddos Dancing in our Hearts by visiting the DIH Room. This room, located on the third floor, is a special location designated to remember the kiddos who can't be physically present tonight. The room displays the stories of all of our Dancing in our Hearts kiddos and each of their brave fights with Pediatric Cancer. The DIH room represents something so integral to this organization. Once a member of the Dance Marathon Family, always a member of the Dance Marathon Family.

As a leadership team, we lost one of our outstanding leadership members, McKenzie Gamble, to cancer in December of 2019. McKenzie fought for the lives of our kiddos while being treated for ovarian cancer over a span of 2 years. She often held minis for Dance Marathon, fundraisers and garage sales and fought hard for the lives of our kiddos at Stead. Mckenzie’s bib and Dance Marathon shirt that she should be wearing at the big event will be located in the DIH room. We invite all of our dancers to visit the room, reflect, and celebrate the life of Kenzie Gamble and all of the other DM kids who lost their lives to cancer.

So once again I urge you to take some time out of the next 12 hours and reflect and honors those kiddos who are unable to be here today. Always remember your why.

By: Grace Zukowski and Ally Gibson, Public Relations Committee, DM 26