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Amanda Lopez of Racine, WI was one of more than 1,400 current University of Iowa students who participated in the 27th annual student-led Dance Marathon which raised more than $1.4 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

The final tally raised by the students — who were inspired by the theme of this year’s Dance Marathon: “Rise with Resilience” — was $1,422,443.27, a total which pushed the amount of support generated by Dance Marathon over the course of its history to more than $31 million.

“A very popular spark word this year has been resilience,” DM27 excecutive director Elizabeth Jackson told the University of Iowa’s Daily Iowan. “But for our families, they’ve been resilient as they received a diagnosis, got treatment, entered remission, or lost their child. The epitome of resilience is to have to go through all those challenges.

Dance Marathon’s “Big Event” is the celebration of UI students’ year-round dedication to the children and families who have received treatment at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Dancers and Dance Marathon leadership fundraise for 365 days to reach their individual fundraising goal.

Dance Marathon works to create special projects to provide emotional and financial support to families treated at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital with an emphasis on pediatric cancer and bone marrow transplant patients. It committed $5 million of support to the construction of the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital where the 11th floor is named the University of Iowa Pediatric Oncology Unit.

In addition, Dance Marathon pledged $2.2 million to fund a Child Life Specialist Position to ensure patients are provided the emotional support they need.

Dance Marathon is the UI’s largest student organization. It has raised more than $31 million since its first event in 1995. In addition to raising money, the event celebrates the lives of survivors and recognizes those lost.

To view a timeline of Dance Marathon’s history and tradition, click HERE.


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