Imagine this: you’re sitting around your dining room table with all of your family, but there’s one empty seat. This seat has been empty for the past few years because you lost a loved one to a life threatening illness or injury.
This is the reality many families face who have been affected by the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. No family should ever have to go through the pain of losing a family member, and Dance Marathon programs all across the country are fighting and raising money so that one day, life threatening illnesses in children no longer exist.
I’m thankful for the fact that I have a healthy family. I have healthy friends. I’m able to wake up everyday and breathe and walk on my own. I’m not confined to a hospital bed, and I can go outside in the snow and play with my dogs. I can run around with the kids in my neighborhood. I can go to college. I can just be a normal twenty year old. So many of the families we support miss out on memories like these. Instead, they’re spending holidays in hospitals, or they spend their holidays going to appointments to make sure they’re okay. They spend holidays and birthdays confined to a hospital bed, but they’re thankful to still be alive. That is what they consider to be normal in their life.
Each day, thousands of college students are fundraising and spreading awareness about these terrible life threatening illnesses and injuries. This is why I’m thankful for Dance Marathon. The people who are a part of this organization don’t stop fighting, and we won’t stop fighting until life threatening illnesses no longer exist. On top of this, members of Dance Marathon have the biggest hearts. I have met so many amazing people through this organization, and I continue to be inspired by so many people. I have so many reasons to be thankful this year, but Dance Marathon is something that tops just about everything I’m thankful for.