24th annual Dance Marathon shatters fundraising records

The University of Iowa 24th annual Dance Marathon broke it's previous fundraising recors, raising more than three million dollars in the fight against pediatric cancer.

Students had to raise at least $500 dollars to participate in this year's dance marathon. The money goes to the Stead Family Children's Hospital to help fund research, care, and emotional support for children with cancer. Students dancing the night and day away this weekend could not sit or drink caffeine for 24 hours, but it was a commitment many were willing to make to save lives.

"It's really high energy, everybody is tired, but then you a second or third wind for some people," said Jesse Weiss about this year's marathon. He is a student at the university and member of the event's Operations Committee.

Groups and individuals dancing throughout the event also honored the children who have passed away, beat cancer, or still are fighting.

Many families of former and current cancer patients at Stead participated in the weekend-long event.

"It's absolutely amazing how many parents and everybody have come out," said father Brandon Drew.

Drew's daughter had cancer and sought treatment at Stead last year.

"Our daughter just got diagnosed last year around St. Patrick's Day. She's been in remission [since] august," he said.

Drew said each dance marathon is making an incredible difference in helping his daughter beat cancer and hundreds of other children.

The program has already given more than 20 million dollars to the hospital for pediatric cancer. This year, the program brought in a grand total of $3,011,015.24.

Organizers said this years money's can go from continuing to expand the pediatric cancer facility, assisting with medical bills, parking, gas, meals, or other forms of care for Stead families.

"We try to take away the burden for the families. It's a very hard time. We just want them to have their main focus on helping their kids to get better and whatever we can do to support them we want to do," said Weiss.

The UI Dance Marathon is the third largest children's miracle network dance marathon in the country.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off