Exec Letter: Chelsea Roehm

Anything but Normal

A million things happened to you today. You took

a sip of coffee, brushed your teeth for three minutes, took a third bite of your lunch. But tomorrow, you will remember almost none of these things. Tomorrow you will get up and go through the natural routine you have developed and stuck to for days, weeks, or even months on end. Sometimes, people are not so fortunate to be able to have a natural, comfortable routine. Sometimes, people must wake up in the morning and hope that their day remains uneventful and that the evening provides no curveball.

Did you know 62 children enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute? That is 89,280 children who woke up one morning and had their natural, daily routine interrupted. Sometimes it is only for a day or two, but often it is for years on end. Often the only ‘routine’ these kids come to know is the daily needle poke or medicine dosage. The rest remains uncertain. Put yourself into the shoes of a child for a moment. Imagine having to wake up each morning not knowing if you’ll have to endure 3 more needle pokes than yesterday, or 2 more tests run. That is three extra ‘owies’ for you, the child, and two more tests your parents must nervously await the results of.

There is nothing glamourous about childhood illness. There is nothing normal, easy, or routine for the ill child, the parents, or the siblings. UNI Dance Marathon supports a miracle kiddo, Reed, who is diagnosed with Vanishing White Matter. VWM is incurable at the moment. Recently Reed’s mother posted an update on Reed which shared the following: “Things for Reed seem to be going okay, he is losing some trunk strength and starting to show signs of struggle from going from belly to pushing himself up to sitting.” Can you imagine having to watch your beautiful little boy grow weaker, knowing there is little you can do to help? That is the reality for parents of children battling illness. The reality is that the family has their daily routine, but there is no guarantee each day will be perfectly the same.

So today, I plead to you to support the Dance Marathon movement. Support the movement that is raising funds and awareness for childhood illness. Donate to a local children’s hospital or dance marathon participant. Get involved in a local dance marathon. Advocate for the kids! Whatever that involvement looks like for you, just get involved. Today, every day, and in every way I, Chelsea Roehm, am dancing, fundraising, advocating, and holding onto hope For The Kids.

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