When I think about my experience with DanceBlue, there are so many memories that stick out to me, such as my first time at the marathon, each of the committees I have been a part of, and spreading DanceBlue’s message in every way I could ever think of. Everything with DanceBlue is memorable, but there is one moment I always think of: my first time in the clinic. Throughout my years on Committee, I heard so many incredible clinic stories told by the Family Relations Committee. I was beyond excited to finally experience something like it as I made my way to the clinic on a sunny Thursday morning.

Walking down Rose Street, these stories were racing through my mind. I was remembering all the stories of the sweet moments different Committee members had shared with kids in the clinic. As I was about to walk into this magical place where kids play all day and laugh like they never have before, my heart was beating out of my chest because I was so excited. I opened the door to a room, smiling so hard my face hurt. I was greeted by a boy looking back at me, smiling too.

I hung out with this boy for my whole shift. I had fun, but it did not feel like all of those breathtaking stories I had heard. At that moment, I realized something important: cancer is hard and it is very real. We are not placed in this clinic to create memories of only smiles and laughs. We are there to create joy in places that lack any sign of it. The DanceBlue Clinic is magical for reasons beyond what I was previously able to imagine. It is full of kind and caring staff who relentlessly give back to these kiddos. Through the hard days when all kids want to do is pout, they do not want to be there, or they just want to be out doing what kids should be doing, the nurses, doctors, staff, and volunteers are there to make it a little bit easier. It is remarkable that these kids do not want to leave the place where they are receiving cancer treatment. They are excited to play and to enjoy their childhood with these people who care so deeply about them. I know magic is not real, but what DanceBlue does is the closest thing to it.

Leading the Technology Committee as Technology Chair this year makes me feel insanely lucky to be surrounded by people who work for this magic. The Technology Committee has allowed me to develop many useful skills within video and beyond. I never imagined being in a leadership position dealing with technology of any kind, but the committee I lead provides me with the support and intelligence that allows me to give back to these kids in such a special way. The people they are amaze me every day, and they work so hard to give so much. They are 5 very important reasons why I DanceBlue, and I am so grateful to run around filming whatever this year brings us!

This year, the Tech Committee has expanded a lot of what we are able to do from a technological aspect. My coordinators, Julia P, Julia H, Danny, Jordan, and Sophia, worked so hard this summer to collaborate with UK’s Computer Science Department to expand our iOS app. They challenge themselves with every video, reaching out to people like UK Athletics to help spread the message of DanceBlue and creatively capture our audience. They are working so hard to make our technology the best it can be, and I am so excited to share that with the loving community that makes DanceBlue so extraordinary. Make sure to download the app, visit the website, and watch the videos to stay up to date with all things DanceBlue!