I am finally back and writing about a cause that you may be interested in joining as a college student on the Bloomington campus. This cause is called Indiana University Dance Marathon (IUDM) and helps financially support Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. Over 2000 students take part in fundraising efforts through an academic year in order to give back to all Riley children. It all culminates in a 36 hour dance marathon where dancers finally meet the Riley children they are directly helping by supporting the care they get from Riley. If you are selected as a dancer, be prepared to stand for this entire time and not get any sleep during the event.
And now, here is my personal story as to how I joined IUDM and why I am returning to do it for a 2nd time.
Here is a picture from IUDM 2012 for you all. I am on the far right side.
Indiana University Dance Marathon established in 1991 by Jill Stewart (IU alumna) was started in honor of Ryan White. Ryan White was your typical average child before contracting AIDS during middle school and had to battle the unknown world of a new disease, but also being feared by even his very own community members where he lived in Kokomo, Indiana. Ryan White's fight with AIDS was largely publicized by the media and drew the attention of many famous individuals to his cause. Although, Ryan White got treatment for the symptoms that occur as a result of contracting AIDS there was no direct treatment for AIDS at that time. Ryan fought his AIDS battle well and survived longer that the average individual during the 1980's, surprising many including his very own doctors. Currently, IUDM is in its 22nd year of existence and has raised well over $14 million for Riley Children's Hospital. IUDM will continue to impact the residents of Indiana, but also children around the world through the careful research of the staff of the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center.
Here is a movie version of the story of Ryan White. Please consider watching it. Thanks!
As you probably figured out, the money one raises for Indiana University Dance Marathon goes towards a specific part of Riley Children's Hospital called the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center. This specialized department of Riley focuses on finding cures for infectious diseases and treating the symptoms of the respective disease with the utmost efficiency and accuracy. Many families in Indiana have been touched by Riley Children's Hospital including my very own family. The care that Riley's doctors and nurses take in helping a family's child is very professional, but also kid-friendly.
If you showed any interest at all to anything I said above, please visit Indiana University Dance Marathon's website to learn more about how you can get involved!
FYI : IUDM 2013 is from November 15th-17th, 2013 (all you need to do is register at http://www.helpmakemiracles.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=1416 and fundraise at least $500). After you do all that, you will join an IUDM family filled with individuals just like you who agree that doing IUDM is one of the most selfless decisions they ever made in college.
INSPIRATIONAL Quotes: "Where there is love, there is life." - Mahatma Ghandi / "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Ashley Crouse