On the first day of freshman English, I sat with sweaty palms listening to my teacher talk about this cool club that raised money for pediatric cancer research and instantly I was hooked. I knew I needed to be at my high school’s mini Dance Marathon (six hours seems like nothing now!) and I needed to be a part of this club. After attending my high school’s Mini Marathon freshman year, I was blown away by how much high schoolers could raise to help affect change for others, but I still just thought of the committee as that cool club that helps people. Sophomore year my views completely changed as my best friend Amzie was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer that was rare in adults and almost unheard of in children. Seeing how cancer affected Amzie and her family pushed me to raise more and dance even harder. She passed away in January of our junior year, but she will forever be the reason I dance. She inspired everyone to be kind to others and always found the best in people. She is the real reason behind my passion for the fight against pediatric cancer. She inspired me to get involved with the cause sophomore year instead of observing the “coolness” of the club and dancing once a year.

Through our mini, I got involved with DanceBlue and by the end of my sophomore year, I had my sights set on being a part of the DanceBlue committee. I worked with my high school committee raising money, leading others in fundraising, even helping other high schools and a middle school establish mini’s, and I knew that I needed to keep fighting for the kids throughout college. I decided to apply for the DanceBlue committee my senior year so that I can continue to help ease the burden cancer and chronic illnesses can place on families.

I knew as I applied for DanceBlue senior year that my freshman year in college may be challenging, but I also knew that kids just like Amzie were facing the most challenging times of their lives. When I was applying, I looked at every committee I could apply for and I wanted to apply for them all! I applied to the Operations committee because I love planning and I have a lot of experience planning events (like Mini-Marathons) down to the minute. After I submitted my written applications, I got interviewed for both committees. I was so nervous at the start of the interviews but the people from DanceBlue were so nice and welcoming, it made me want to be a part of this committee even more! I was shocked when I got a phone call from DanceBlue saying that they wanted me to be a part of this committee. I screamed in my car when I got the call! Almost instantly I was added into a group chat with the rest of Operations and other committee members reached out to me saying how excited they were that I get to be a part of this committee my freshman year.

I am extremely humbled to be a part of the committee this year and I can not wait for our 5k in the Fall and of course the 24-hour dance marathon! I am excited to see the participation from the community and the student body with DanceBlue this year, I know it will be the best year yet! After senior year, I wanted to continue to be part of a team that creates something huge to benefit kids affected by chronic illness, and I wanted to be intensely involved for all four years of college so I applied for the DanceBlue committee. My high school’s Mini Marathon along with the experiences I had throughout high school has made the cause more for me than just a dance. DanceBlue is a commitment to the children fighting for their lives and the families that fight along with them.  DanceBlue is a promise that one day no child will lose their best friend. I am going to dance for all the kids that cannot until we can all dance in celebration of a cure. DanceBlue needs the passion of the class of 2022 (and every class after!) to ensure that one day we will find the cure, so we would love to have you fight alongside us! If you are in high school or college reading this you can join the fight too! Whether you apply to be on committee or just attend an event you can help DanceBlue in the fight for the kids!