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In the Spirit of Coming Together

December is a month of transition. It brings both the conclusion of one year and the preparation for new beginnings. It is a time to reflect on all of the choices we made for the past 12 months that brought us to this very moment. A lot can change in a year, and we often don’t step back to realize what changes have taken place until we hit a milestone; in this case the end of 2021. These thoughts can sometimes be rather daunting, and it’s no coincidence that we also consider this time “the holidays”: a time to come together with loved ones, to celebrate, and to create lasting memories.

Transitions can be terrifying. They put us in vulnerable, uncomfortable positions in which we reflect on our current state and where we want to be in the future. However, turning to those around us for a sense of support and community brings comfort and joy. In times of uncertainty of what the future may bring, we can find solace in our connections with others. Holiday celebrations are therefore not just an excuse to exchange gifts and eat delicious meals. Coming together with those we love helps give us the support we need to tackle whatever may come our way, whether good or bad.

All of us with UNI Dance Marathon hope that each and every one of you were able to spend some quality time with friends and family this holiday season. However, we are aware that not everyone has that option. At the Stead Family Children’s Hospital and hospitals around the country, many patients were unable to gather with their loved ones. Instead of being comfortable at home, some families had to make due with limited contact in hospital rooms. As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital stays are more isolated than ever. Now is an incredibly important time to fully realize the impact that community connections have on our own experiences.

While nothing can come close to filling the void of missing a family member due to illness or injury, we strive to create a family of support through Dance Marathon, even if we aren’t bound by blood. In fact, the Big Event serves as our own holiday of sorts. We gather together, students, Miracle Kiddos, and families, to celebrate strength, perseverance, and the hope for a brighter future. In times of darkness, we provide a shoulder to lean on, and in times of great joy, we aim to be the loudest cheering section imaginable! We want to create a space of belonging for everyone involved, no matter their story, and we are prepared to support everyone through all the twists and turns life can conjure.

We look forward to celebrating with you at the Big Event on March 5th, and wish you the best for 2022!


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