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This summer I had the incredible opportunity to meet Jackson Gipe and his family at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City with three other executive members. We were on our way back from DePaul University, host of the 2014 Dance Marathon Leadership Conference where representatives from every Dance Marathon across the nation attend. I was on a DM high and eager to get started for UNI’s year of fundraising, events, and making miracles happen. When we arrived at the hospital, we were first greeted by Jackson’s mom. She gave the four of us hugs and said something I will never forget. Between telling us about Jackson, the day he was diagnosed, and his fight against leukemia and other infections, she told us how much she admired us even though we are half her age. “You are accomplishing things I never would have dreamed of doing when I was your age.” This quote has stuck with me and is my motivation for everything this organization has accomplished so far this year. UNI Dance Marathon is currently in its fourth year and has raised $333,000 in our first three years. This is raised solely from college students fundraising through attending events, asking family and friends, and backing up an organization that is doing miraculous things in the Cedar Valley and in Iowa City. Often times, college students are stereotyped as not doing much other than attending class on the weekdays and partying on the weekends. UNI’s Dance Marathon is one of the most successful in the nation which wouldn’t be possible without college students like you doing great things for the kids. I now challenge all of you to live by this quote. To keep accomplishing things that others wish they had at our age. We have the unique opportunity to make quite the difference in the lives of those treated at the University of Iowa’s Children’s Hospital. Now that we are just over a month away from the big event, I encourage you all to continue fundraising and making a difference FTK!

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