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I remember when I used to beg my parents non-stop just so I could stay up just a half hour past my bedtime. I can remember riding a bike for the first time too. In the Konfrst household, the only time the kids were up past their bedtime during the week was the Sunday night of the Superbowl each year. America’s past time is baseball, mine was riding the ole’ Huffy around. At the time, a giant fence to keep in two dogs surrounded my house, or so I thought. I was consistently told I was not to leave the fence. I began to think maybe the fence wasn't for the K-9s. This allowed me plenty of room to do just about nothing. I spend hours on end riding my bike in a perfect circle in the 12 by 12 square foot chunk that was our driveway. I felt as close to a Nascar driver as I could, I spent most of my days turing left and only left. One particular afternoon, I took my left hand turn a little too seriously. I somehow, after a blur of vision and flight, ended up stuck solely in the center of the thorn bush ever so conveniently placed right aside the driveway. Thank the Lord the thorn bush was there to break my fall… This was the deepest of pain I felt during my childhood. A pain paid deeper than the thorns that we now in every inch of my body. A pain that stung like a million and six wasps had just simultaneously stung me. A pain I would wish on no one. A pain that produced enough tears to keep the Nile at a good water level. A pain I’ll never forget. Pain is inevitable. Pain, to me, is something we try hard to avoid. This is a given. There is great deal of learning we can all take away from pain. The best part about pain is re discovering what it is like to recapture the feeling of no pain when the pain subsides. Because, the pain will subside. If anyone has ever told you life was easy, they are wrong. Life isn't meant to be easy. Life, comes with pain and with pain comes the longing to be painless. When we suddenly are painless we need to remind ourselves of the gift it is. I promise you this, you will have pain. It may be momentary, it may be a lifetime. But one day, this pain will subside. Our kiddos are in pain, and they long for a glimpse in time when they no longer have to feel the pain. The families long to see their precious love ones not in pain. To finish the story, my father was there to reel me like a bass out of the thorn bush. Doing his best fishermen impression to real me from the depths of the pit I was in. He sat by my side for the next several hours picking out each thorn one by one. He saw me though my pain because he loved me and wanted to see me be the painless kid I was moments before. Maybe you've been the bass who needed to be reeled out of the thorn bush before. UNI Dance Marathon is an organization that allows normal, everyday people to become fishermen. Don’t forget who pulled you out of the pain when you were sunk so deep. Thank them for that. Join us; we are building a unit of fishermen who are doing what we can to pull families along side their kiddos out of the thorn bush. If you have had this pain, you know what it is like to be here. Remember how badly you wanted out? Join us, do your part in helping others get out. ​To conclude, begging for 30 minutes of extra late night TV is nothing. Watching kiddos faces as they express a longing for 30 more years of life is something. A life without pain. Our kiddos will grow up to be successful men and women of the future generations. The 30 minutes I used to spend not going to bed is time I want back. In 30 minutes, today, you can register to help change lives, ask 10 people to donate to a cause bigger than ourselves, donate to a cause dedicate to our Kiddos and still have 26 minutes to spare. It is far to easy for an excuse. If you want to make a change, be the change and make it happen.

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