Last Thursday, we celebrated the official 100-day countdown until the 2018 DanceBlue Marathon! (If you missed the announcement, hundreds of students will start the 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon of Feb. 17 at 8 p.m.!) So in honor of 100-days until the 2018 DanceBlue Marathon, we asked, “Why do you DanceBlue?” Here are 100 responses!
1. Sam Sullivan (DanceBlue Social Media Coordinator): I DanceBlue to make someone’s day a little brighter and their journey with cancer a less scary. No one should have to feel alone during this battle, and DanceBlue is that helping hand, friendly smile and big ball of joy that is with the kids and families every step of the way.
2. Devon Hurley (DanceBlue Graphic Design Coordinator): I DanceBlue to honor the memory of Cameron, Harley, Reagan and all the kids who have lost their battles to cancer and to support the kids who are still fighting.
3. Eric Martin (DanceBlue Technology Chair): I DanceBlue for a cure.
4. Justin Rolf (DanceBlue Morale Committee): For my younger next door neighbor Luke, who is a pediatric cancer survivor. I dance so that one day kids can just be kids, and not worry about if they’ll see tomorrow.
5. Jake Puckett (Morale Committee): There will be a day those kids won’t have to fight in the battle that they shouldn’t be soldiers in. As long as they’re in the war, we’ll be fighting with them. One day we’ll defeat this disease, but until then I’ll keep on dancing.
6. Claire Sedlar (DanceBlue Morale Committee): I DanceBlue for every family that has been, is currently, and will later be affected by childhood cancer. I DanceBlue for my own family, especially my sister, who fought her own battle when just five years old. The hopelessness, stress, and sadness that overwhelmed our family’s lives during her treatment is something no family should have to go through alone. For me, this is a reason to fight harder and dance longer. I DanceBlue so that children like my sister can celebrate more victories.
7. Abby Gabbon (UK BCM): I DanceBlue because I can’t wait for the day when we can dance in celebration of a cure!
8. Katherine Youkilie (Delta Delta Delta): It’s for an AMAZING cause! I know it’s a long process to learn the dance, but it’s for such a great reason! I think it’s inspirational to see the children suffering from pediatric cancer come to the marathon and tell their story. It shows me and everyone else why we are there for those 24 hours!
9. Ann Pitts (DanceBlue Photography/Media Coordinator): I DanceBlue to give joy to the kids, no matter the circumstances they’re in.
10. Meagan Wilkins (Kappa Delta): I was treated at a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital when I was younger and would not be here today without them. I DanceBlue to help my story be told by other kids time and time again.
11. Amanda Gilles (DanceBlue Dancer Relations Chair): I DanceBlue for the unity and happiness this organization brings to others. Seeing how DanceBlue has shaped the University of Kentucky campus as a whole is truly incredible. Not only has it provided unity among the campus but also across the community of Lexington and beyond into the state of Kentucky. DanceBlue has not only impacted mine and many other students lives but most importantly it is changing the lives of the patients and families of the DanceBlue Clinic. It is humbling to see a university come together in order to stand for those who are fighting this battle. The kids in the Clinic deserve the world and I am glad to be apart of an organization that strives to give them just that. Through DanceBlue lives are changed and a difference is made this is why I do and will always continue to DanceBlue For The Kids.
12. Chloe Robertson (DanceBlue Programming Committee): I DanceBlue for the kids so that they can focus on being a kid even as they fight cancer! These kids are the strongest, most joyful individuals you will ever meet!
13. Caitlin Crowder (DanceBlue Alumni/Former Morale Committee): I DanceBlue for the kids. For the parents, and for the siblings. To allow them to be just a kid and forget about the hospital, the doctors visits, and all the needle pokes. For their smiles, and their infectious laughs. To show them that they aren’t alone in this fight, and how loved they are. And to see their face light up when they come to DanceBlue, and realize that 1,000 college kids are on that floor, supporting and cheering them on every second of the way.
14. Claire Wilhite (DanceBlue Morale Committee): I DanceBlue for those who need a little extra support to win the fight against cancer. Their strength and determination is what fuels my drive to DanceBlue until all the battles against cancer are won!
15. Chris Redgate (Phi Sigma Kappa DanceBlue Team Captain): There are so many things in our lives that we cannot control. Being in college I felt like I needed ways to give back and get more involved like I had been in high school. Cancer has been a constant burden on my family and I felt helping fight cancer was the perfect way to get involved. I DanceBlue because there are so many children and their families that didn’t have any control over their situation. While we cannot control what happens in life we always can control what we do with it. DanceBlue is supporting and helping the many families and is something I have grown to love about UK.
16. Angelo Yeh (Sigma Pi DanceBlue Team Captain): Because no kids should have to fight alone. Kids are the way to the future and should be fully supported by anyone who wants a future.
17. Molly Morgan (Chi Omega): To be a part of something bigger than myself. To use my health to give back to the less healthy. I want to show them they are worth fighting for.
18. Sarah Johnson (DanceBlue Corporate Committee): I DanceBlue because nobody deserves this and the kids have such a positive attitude at all times that I want to do everything in my power to help find a cure!
19. Molly Trunnell (DanceBlue Activities Chair at Apollo High School): I DanceBlue because it breaks my actual heart when I think about all the kids who aren’t allowed to do everything they want to in life because an illness is holding them back. DanceBlue means a cure for me, for my school, and for all the kids with cancer. I DanceBlue for so many reasons because I do it FTK.
20. Liv Hagan (DanceBlue Morale Committee): DanceBlue is a not just a dance marathon it is a group of people that will wear crazy cat shirts, eat Tia’s families bomb rice, dance ridiculously, and be there for you no matter what. DanceBlue brings the most passionate servant hearted people together all for the kids.
21. Trevor Payne (Apollo High School): To give the kids a reason to smile.
22. Haylee Frizzell (Committee Member at Apollo High School): I DanceBlue because I want to be apart of something bigger than myself, I want to help make a difference.
23. Bobby Wilking (DanceBlue Mini Marathons Coordinator): Because it is a friendship and a promise that we will be there with the families during their worst days, but also when they will be dancing with us in celebration when cancer is no more.
24. Melissa Jarboe (Apollo DanceBlue Sponsor): I DanceBlue for the families, for parents to be able to hug their children everyday, for grandparents to tell “what it was like when i was your age” stories. For brothers and sisters to make memories with their siblings, for children to be able to smile and laugh and be a kid one more day. The faith and hope for a cure. The love for their kids to have another year. #FTK
25. Paige Ferguson (Apollo High School Fundraising Committee): I DanceBlue because it’s something so much bigger than myself. It brings people of all different backgrounds together to fight for one cause, to fight FTK.
26. Hallie French (Apollo High School DanceBlue Committee): I DanceBlue to let all the sweet kids that are affected by pediatric cancer that there is someone that believes in them. I Dance Blue to inspire them to keep fighting until the day comes that we can all celebrate together in light of a cure.
27. Elizabeth Patterson (DanceBlue Morale Committee): I DanceBlue for my dad. For people like him who have lost the battle to cancer. We stand up and we fight for them, dance for them, give them and their story a voice that needs to be heard! Because DanceBlue is even more than just FTK… It’s for everyone, every person who’s been affected by this evil. We will fight, we will stand, and we will dance until the battle is won! #DBDontGetTired
28. Grace Bush (Apollo High School DanceBlue Fundraising Committee): I DanceBlue for the cheers when kids realize what an amazing cause they are dancing for. I DanceBlue for hope for a better tomorrow and a tomorrow full of cheers, for all kids.
29. Julie Little (DanceBlue Family Relations Committee): I dance for a cure so the greatest and bravest kiddos I know can be just kids again!
30. Bradley Wilson (DanceBlue Family Relations Chair): To bring hope to the families who need it most
31. Hannah Tolson (DanceBlue Morale Committee): I DanceBlue for the kids who have been fiercely reminded to never take a minute that life has to offer for granted. These children and their families fight a battle that no one should have to go through. As an aspiring doctor in Pediatrics, I hope one day that this battle will be won and I want to do everything in my power to play a role in that feat. Being on committee for the first time this year has been such an amazing experience so far and it has been a blessing to work alongside such selfless and passionate people, so I also DanceBlue for them.
32. Alec Prew (DanceBlue Promotions Coordinator): I DanceBlue for the kids that aren’t able and to help end the battle against pediatric cancer!
33. Hannah Gore (DanceBlue Clinic Nurse): To fight for our awesome kiddos!
34. Kristina Hayes (DanceBlue Clinic Certified Child Life Specialist): To provide a sense of solidarity for our patients and families.
35. Meiko Welch (DanceBlue Clinic Nurse): For The Kids and their families. Also because we love to dance!
36. Brock Johnson (DanceBlue Morale Committee): I DanceBlue for those who can’t! I wanted to be a part of something that changes the world, and DanceBlue does that and more!
37. Tiana Thé (DanceBlue Morale Committee and Student Government DanceBlue Team Captain): No child or family should ever have to bear the burden of illness by himself or herself, and I love that DanceBlue is a community of steadfast support and love. I DanceBlue because every kid deserves to be a kid
38. Rachel Clarke (Team Captain of Are We Wildcats or Are We Dancers?): I wanted to be part of something that was bigger than myself; it is really rewarding to see how so many people can come together to help these children.
39. Sally Martin (DanceBlue Merchandise Coordinator): I DanceBlue because of the enormous impact it has made on my life. When I got involved in my high school’s DanceBlue 3 years ago, I didn’t know what adventure would lie before me. After graduating from Apollo, I knew UK was my next step and DanceBlue was a huge reason why. It’s rare to find an organization by students who selflessly give up time, money, and energy to help others the way that DanceBlue has. We have helped create more birthdays, school days, and family vacations for the kids who are braver than I will ever be. I DanceBlue so that families can continue to be helped and kids can continue to fight the monster that cancer is.
40. Kayla Wilfong (Alpha Gamma Delta): Over the last 3 years, my love for this organization has grown so much. Nothing I can say or write could do justice to the immense joy and you feel when you DanceBlue. I will always dance for more laughs, more celebrations, more kids getting to ring the bell. I dance so that so many will never be forgotten and I dance so that so many will never be alone in her journey. For 24 hours I dance so that these kids have the courage to fight and kick cancers butt. I dance for all these things, and I dance so that one day we will have a cure.
41. Molly McQueary (Alpha Gamma Delta): I dance for all of the kids that can’t, I dance to support all of the hard work that provides care for our pediatric patients and their families, I dance to show that there is a community that cares for them, and I dance to make a difference.
42. Jim Braden (DanceBlue Mini Marathon Chair): I DanceBlue for a better tomorrow. I dance to fight for the kids going through cancer today that deserve to have a normal life. I dance to bring joy to them every chance I get and to spread the message of DanceBlue throughout the state.
43. Michaela Murray (Alpha Gamma Delta): Because it’s the children who are the real heros.
44. Trish Przystup (Alpha Gamma Delta): For children who deserve to grow up to be the firefighter they want to be. Also because curing childhood cancer cures all cancers.
45. Kaylie Zander (DanceBlue Morale Committee and Kappa Alpha Theta Team Captain): I DanceBlue so that families in the clinic will know they don’t have to fight this battle alone.
46. Jacob Whitt (DanceBlue Corporate Committee): For my Uncle Robert, whom I’m named after. He passed away from Carcinoid Syndrome before I was born and seeing the effects cancer has on a family it has driven me to want to help ensure that families never have to go through that! #FTK4LYF
47. Elizabeth Henderson (Staff Support in DanceBlue Clinic): Because I love kids and I want to see them all get well!
48. Helen Lindner (College of Nursing): For my future patients.
49. Abby Wilson (The Magical Mousekateers Team Member): I DanceBlue because I am a cancer survivor and I love to give back to the clinic that I attend for yearly check ups!
50. Karlee Schreiber (Delta Delta Delta): For my papa.
51. Becky Buster (DanceBlue Morale Committee): I DanceBlue because I’ve met way too many people who have been affected by cancer. I’ve gotten to know too many kids who have to skip practices and games to go to their siblings doctors appointments, and too many parents who have to worry about their kid’s small cough. I dance because there are too many kids and too many parents having to worry about the little things. But most importantly, I dance so that the kids can be KIDS!
52. Pooja Patel (RaasBlue): To give hope to all the children in need.
53. Josie Dwyer (Delta Zeta): I DanceBlue for more birthdays, more birthday cakes, and more birthday parties. I DanceBlue for more nerf wars, and less worries. I dance in hopes that someday we don’t have to!
54. Audrey Moeglin (DanceBlue Graphic Design Coordinator): I DanceBlue for happiness. Happiness is something every person deserves, but does not always pursue. I want to create a better and happier world for the kids, because they do the same for those around them.
55. Allison Gant (Alpha Gamma Delta): I DanceBlue because each and every child deserves the chance to live a happy and healthy childhood. I dance for the ones who cannot. I dance for the ones we have lost. I dance in celebration for the lives that are saved. I dance so I can be a part of something bigger than myself. And most importantly, I dance for the kids.
56. Emily Klump (Delta Zeta): I do DanceBlue because I want to help children who are suffering from cancer. I want to be able to give back my time and money to them, to try to make their situation a little easier. No one should have to go through cancer but especially not a child, and I want to do what I can to contribute to helping find a cure.
57. Becca Schladt (Team Captain for Phi Sigma Rho): I DanceBlue because I have been privileged to have never been affected by childhood cancer, and I think that makes it even more important that I be a champion for those who have. My heart is FTK!
58. D’Andrey Miller (Theta Chi): I DanceBlue for those individuals who have dreams but won’t ever see them come to fruition.
59. Clark Ulmer (DanceBlue Operations Committee): I DanceBlue for the kids who can’t. There are kids in the clinic who would give anything to be able to get out and dance with us, and I would be disrespecting them if I didn’t go out there and give it my all. It’s all about them.
60. Kyle Irvin (Sigma Chi): To show the kid’s they are never alone through their fight.
61. Colin O’Daniel (Sigma Chi): I DanceBlue so I can boogie for the kids that can’t.
62. Nick Hostetter (Sigma Chi): I DanceBlue to give HOPE to the children with pediatric cancer.
63. Ryan Liston (Kappa Alpha Order): A great cause that goes along way in supporting these children and families in need.
64. JD Schurer (Theta Chi): To raise awareness and help others.
65. Jodi Llanora (DanceBlue Public Relations Chair): I do this to honor the kids who didn’t get their happy ending. I do this to defend the kids who are currently fighting their battle. I do this to celebrate the kids who will one day live with one less worry in the world. I DanceBlue for them.
66. Peyton Henderson (Younglife): I DanceBlue because for most of my life I’ve been blessed with good health, and I want to use that to benefit those who don’t. Every child deserves to be healthy and happy.
67. Bea Randolph (Alpha Omicron Pi): I DanceBlue so that no child or family has to go through cancer alone. We are their community, their support system, their cheerleaders. We are here to kick cancer’s butt and be FTK!
68. Hannah Jones (YoungLife DanceBlue Co-Captain): One reason I DanceBlue is because for two years my grandfather courageously battled lymphoma, and last year we lost him. I dance to fight for all the kids and their families who fight everyday. I remember the sleepless nights, and the roller coaster ride it was everyday. I dance for these kids and their families to know we care, and we have their back.
69. Shelby Klingerman (DanceBlue Team Fundraising Coordinator): Kids deserve the chance to laugh, play and not worry about big problems. They deserve to have grade school crushes, go to school and learn, grow up and live out a life chasing their dream job. They should get to spend their days outside running around with their friends, rolling around in the leaves and building snowmen. Cancer and other illnesses put a big kink in those plans. It takes away their right to live life as a carefree kid. That’s just not fair. I DanceBlue so I can fight alongside these kids and families in any way that I can and spread hope for a day where every kid lives a happy, healthy life free of cancer and illness. I DanceBlue so more kids can laugh and play without missing out because of doctor’s appointments or treatment. I DanceBlue so kids can just be kids.
70. Paul Conaty (Sigma Alpha Epsilon DanceBlue Team Captain): I DanceBlue because it’s solely the coolest/most inspiring event I have ever been apart of. Watching the kids run around and have their time of their lives for that 24 hours is the coolest thing ever, and I highly recommend getting involved if you haven’t considered it.
71. Rachel Harp (Alpha Phi Omega DanceBlue Team Captain): I DanceBlue until the battle is won.
72. Chase Phillips (Kappa Alpha Order): I DanceBlue to honor the children going through tough times.
73. Barbara Waldmann Ward (DanceBlue Clinic Staff Nurse): I DanceBlue for all the students at UK, past and present, who have helped us make the DanceBlue Hematology/Oncology Clinic second to NONE in the country. Also, of course I DanceBlue FTK!
74. Ian Liljestrand (University of Kentucky Student): I think it’s for an amazing cause and love the feeling of helping out.
75. Grant Puckett (DanceBlue Morale Committee): I DanceBlue for the hope of the day where we don’t have to dance anymore, when the battle is finally won!
76. Katrina Kozak (Alpha Chi Omega): I DanceBlue for the hope that one day we can dance in celebration of a cure, for the kids who are gone but never forgotten, and for the kids who are fighting a huge battle, to know that they have the biggest support system in the world.
77. Emma Newland (Alpha Chi Omega): For The Kids has become my way of life.
78. Janice Chase (Alpha Chi Omega): Being able to give back and be a part of something so massive and life changing is so fulfilling, and to know the effects will be felt long after I graduate and leave UK makes all the fundraising and the 24 hours of standing worth it one hundred times over.
79. Sean Bottom (YoungLife): To raise money for children who have cancer.
80. Charlotte Boulanger (University of Kentucky Student): In hopes of a future where those affected can dance alongside me…without pain or suffering.
81. Kelsey Kadow (Alpha Omicron Pi): I DanceBlue because my Grandma had cancer and seeing what she had to go through broke my heart. No child and their families should ever have to struggle or feel alone!
82. Carson Hill (DanceBlue Operations Committee): I DanceBlue because I want to be on the frontline fighting for a cure. Cancer tears lives and families apart in the most unbearable way possible. I volunteered at the marathon last year for the last six hours. During that time, I got to hear the testimonies of families whose kids are fighting or have fought and lost the battle with cancer. Hearing their raw emotion of heartbreak and agony tore my heart to a million pieces. However, what changed that feeling of empathy to a need to take action were the powerful stories of love and compassion told about DanceBlue. I heard what a real impact we made on real lives and it sparked a fire in my heart and drove me to fight for those who are too tired to fight any longer. Being able to be apart of DanceBlue and seeing the beautiful impact a bunch of college kids can have is why I DanceBlue.
83. Sara Edgett (DanceBlue Programming Committee): For The Kids who can’t (YET!)
84. Kristin Meyer (Kappa Kappa Gamma): Because my brother suffered from childhood cancer and I want to give back in any way I can!
85. Alexis Frantz (Team Angels): To make sure their lives are lived and not just survived.
86. Walton Draper (Wildcats for the Kids): I DanceBlue to help find the cure against pediatric cancer!
87. Karrah Keaton (Wildcats for the Kids Team Captain): I DanceBlue to help bring smiles and laughter back to their lives!
88. Evan Kemper (Sigma Pi): To help make everyday better.
89. Greg Johnson (University of Kentucky Student): To help find a cure!
90. Jill von Hoven (Wildcats for the Kids): I DanceBlue to make sure that kids get to live their lives to the fullest and not just survive.
91. Dan Johnson (Wildcats for the Kids): I DanceBlue for the kids who can’t.
92. Joey Young (University of Kentucky Student): To change lives.
93. Jack Grant (University of Kentucky Student): To help bring joy!
94. Anonymous (Apollo High School): I DanceBlue so I can be a part of a cause bigger than myself, bigger than Apollo, and bigger than UK. I DanceBlue so the families of these sick kids know someone out there is trying to help. I DB so the nurses, doctors, families, and hurting kids don’t have to feel alone. I DanceBlue completely FTK.
95. Adam Solo (University of Kentucky Student): No kid should ever have to fight alone.
96. Tyler Johns (University of Kentucky Student): I DanceBlue to give back.
97. Kevin Hurley (University of Kentucky Student): To end the fight against pediatric cancer and make every day better!
98. Joey Gordon (Sigma Pi): I dance to help end the fight against pediatric cancer!
99. Madison Conroy (DanceBlue Overall Chair): I DanceBlue because it is the most selfless organization I’ve ever been apart of. Not only is DanceBlue my family, but DanceBlue is also a family to the children and families battling pediatric cancer. I DanceBlue to give these people a home and a voice.
100. Emilee Lampert (DanceBlue Morale Committee, Kappa Kappa Gama Adopt-A-Family Chair): When I think of heaven on earth, I think of DanceBlue. I think of the purest form of joy. I think of lives being changed. I think of a contagious childlike spirit, a hope filled heart, happy tears, and precious families. DanceBlue is one of the greatest, selfless, and service-oriented organizations I have ever been involved in. Each person is truly involved for a greater reason than himself or herself. Due to this, it is amazing what the community can do when they come together For The Kids. The impact of DanceBlue outlasts the dance marathon. After 24 hours, dancers can sit and sleep off their pain and exhaustion. However, the children they’re dancing for can’t. Those fighting cancer return to their lives of pain and treatment. However, they get to leave Memorial Coliseum with a smile on their face and a hop in their step. The strength and joy that radiates from these kids motivates us all to fight the battle against cancer. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to dance, to go to school, to hang out with my friends. All simple things cancer can take away. DanceBlue has given me a passion to live life to the fullest for those who can’t. To smile on bad days and love unconditionally. To be hopeful and brave. But most importantly, I DanceBlue for a cure. For a day when it is no longer needed. A day the battle is won. Until then, I will keep dancing.
Keep up with DanceBlue on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! We look forward to showing you how every day is FTK!