Hello! My name is Rachel VanZytveld and I am a junior at Hope College. Here, I study Special Education with an emphasis on Learning Disabilities. It is the best time of the year again; Dance Marathon is back in action and ready to roll! I first began as a dancer for Dance Marathon in March 2015, where my love and passion grew immensely. Now, for the 2nd year in a row, I am given the amazing opportunity to take a leadership role as the Campus Relations Co-Chair on the Dance Marathon Dream Team. My role is to create an environment at Hope College that includes the entire community by establishing teams consisting of sororities, fraternities, sports, clubs, departments, and dorms! This role has given me so many new friendships with the teams DGRs and the miracle families. I have especially grown close with the Bouwens. Lydia is the miracle child for my sorority, Sigma Iota Beta. We love this sweet and sassy girl with all 76 of our hearts. I will be dancing for sweet Lydia Hope Bouwens. Lydia was diagnosed with an Optic Pathway Glioma in November 2012. Treatment required 15 months of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, which ended up exceeding all expectations. With the tumor shrinking, she also gained remarkable visual improvement. Lydia returns to Helen Devos every six months to make sure she is still a healthy little 7- year-old. Lydia’s latest appointment this past July, went better than ever and she was a tough cookie as she entered her MRI with no sedation. Come meet sweet Lydia Hope and the other amazing miracle families on March 10-11 at the Dance Marathon!
Dance Marathon and the students of Hope College you make a bigger impact on these families lives than you will ever know! Keep raising money, keep building this positive community, and sign up to join us on our mission to $262,000. Forever & Always, for the kids.