Marquette Wire

MU Dance Marathon team gets jumpstart on fundraising for spring event

Alex+Miceli%2C+Becca+Bixler%2C+and+Shannon+McDaniel+%28from+left+to+right%29+sold+donuts+outside+of+the+Raynor+Memorial+Libraries+to+fundraise+for+Child+Health+Day.+
Alex Miceli, Becca Bixler, and Shannon McDaniel (from left to right) sold donuts outside of the Raynor Memorial Libraries to fundraise for Child Health Day.

Alex Miceli, Becca Bixler, and Shannon McDaniel (from left to right) sold donuts outside of the Raynor Memorial Libraries to fundraise for Child Health Day.

Alex Miceli, Becca Bixler, and Shannon McDaniel (from left to right) sold donuts outside of the Raynor Memorial Libraries to fundraise for Child Health Day.

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When Abigail Wesley was two years old, doctors found a tumor in her brain. It was cancerous, and she was given a 50 percent chance of survival. As she was being treated at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, she and her parents lived in a state of uncertainty as to what would happen next.

Despite the unpredictable future, they found support at the University of Iowa Dance Marathon.

“The Children’s Hospital, for my family and me, was like a support system. We really believed in the team and in the experience (of the Dance Marathon),” Wesley said.

Wesley, now a junior in the College of Communication, is paying her experience forward as the morale chair of this year’s Dance Marathon.

“When I was a kid in the hospital, I remember the experience of the college kids in the Dance Marathon. (Participating) is my way of telling the Children’s hospital ‘thank you,’” she said.

The theme of the Dance Marathon, scheduled for April 21, is “Let’s go wild for the life of a child,” and the team is more determined than ever to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. That means two things: The dance will be extended from eight hours to 12 hours, and the goal this year is to raise $120,000. That is a $36,000 increase from last year’s dance.

In an effort to reach this goal, the Dance Marathon team works year-round to raise money. Monday, Oct. 2 was Child Health Day. The team celebrated by selling Krispy Kreme donuts and opening up registration for the dance in the spring.

The team can also be found some weekend nights on the corner of 16th Street and Kilbourn Avenue selling different treats to fundraise.

“So often we think we can only have an impact on things that we can be directly a part of. Even something small on campus, like a $1 donation, can really change the life of a child with a pediatric illness,” Becca Bixler, a junior in the College of Health Sciences,  said.

Even for those who have never felt the direct effects of Dance Marathon, attending the event as a dancer can inspire more involvement in the program.

Bixler got involved in Dance Marathon her freshman year as a dancer. Now she is the vice president of internal relations.

Elise Jaffee, a senior in the College of Communication, attended Dance Marathon as a dancer last year and was so moved, she made the decision to be more involved this year as the public relations chair.

“I was only going to stay (at the dance) for an hour and see what it was. Seeing the families and kids, its effects and how much they’ve grown made me so emotional. It’s just (a) great cause. The littlest things make such a great difference,” Jaffee said.

Registration for the event is now open to all Marquette students.

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