February 23, 2013
A 15-hour dance party at the University of Virginia's Memorial Gymnasium has helped raised more than $60,000 for UVa. Children's Hospital.
The 15th annual Dance Marathon is part of the national Children's Miracle Network, but all the money raised stays in Charlottesville, supporting patients' families and funding research.
"This actually allows us to give even better care to our children at the university at the Children's Medical Center," said Dr. Kimberly Dunsmore, chief of the pediatric hematology and oncology division of the hospital. "It allows us to bring in state-of-the-art clinical trials and be able to treat our children here with the very best treatments that they can have."
Dr. Dunsmore says some of her former patients were among the 400 people dancing throughout the day.
"There could be nothing better than seeing somebody that was sick at one time be so healthy and enjoying their life," said Dunsmore.
Katherine Harrison and her two-year-old daughter Savanna are all too familiar with the medical center. Savanna spent the first year of her life there. Friday, she spent the day on the dance floor surrounded by fellow former patients, UVa. students and other supporters.
Her mom says attending the event is a way to give back to the people who helped them when they needed it the most.
"No parent should ever have to go through it, and when you do, it's hard, but there are people that are in the right spot to help with your child, and it's great when you get the opportunity to give back to them," said Harrison.
Hundreds of UVa. students have been raising money through sponsorships and pledges to reach -- and surpass -- their $45,000 goal.
The party went from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. for total of 15 hours, one for each year the event has taken place.