Wow. What a weekend…This last weekend was Dance Marathon. This is an extraordinary event where all the money that is raised goes towards the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. This money is raised through fundraisers, but also through donations brought in through the participants of Dance Marathon. On top of the participants raising money, they stand on the feet for 24 hours in order to support the kids who are daily fighting their battle against their illness. This whole event is all for the families of kids at the Hospital, and for the kids themselves, to make them feel like superstars.
This year for the marathon, I had the honor to serve on the Dream Team (the 28-ish students that put the Marathon on) as the Morale co-chair. One of the duties of this role is making and choreographing a 9-minute line dance that is taught throughout the entire Marathon. This is a project that my morale co-chair and I have been working at since the first semester and finally taught it to the DM participants last weekend.
Last year, as a freshman, the Marathon meant a lot to me, mostly because it was a lot of fun as I love to dance and have unnatural surplus of energy – thus I didn’t get tired. This year the Marathon had a whole new spin. A lot of that was due to the larger role I had within it, but also due to the situations I went through leading up to the event. As some of you may be aware from reading my other blogs, I recently sprained my ankle. After I sprained it and got off my crutches, I re-sprained it just shy of 3 weeks before Dance Marathon.
This was a moment that was crushing in my life, yet also humbling. In this moment, I made the decision that it was not fair to myself, to my co-chair, to the rest of Dream Team, to the participants at Dance Marathon, and most importantly to the kids to continue on in my duty if I wasn’t fully able to enact in it. It was in that moment that a lot of pride was broken down inside of me and that I realized how little this event truly had to with me, but was 100% for the kids being treated at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
Fortunately, my ankle was healed in time for the Marathon and I was able to continue in my duties as Morale-Co Chair, yet now I had a much healthier and correct perspective. Due this mindset, this year’s Marathon was a lot more emotional as well as passion driven. I loved hearing the families share their stories and I found it very moving.
I am so proud to be a part of this organization due to what it can provide for these families that have gone through so much. I am also proud of how at this year’s Marathon, we were able to raise a record amount of money and well as have a record amount of participants. I thank God for the events that led up to this marathon, including re-spraining my ankle, because if I didn’t stumble, that I would have seen the Marathon through blind eyes.
If you are reading this as a prospective student or a student that has never done Dance Marathon, I encourage you to do it next year and allow these families stories to move you as they moved me.
For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins. If you have a question you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time!