February 15, 2014
It was a day full of celebration and a day of honoring brave children who survived, despite their illness.
“It's the best day of the year, we have so much fun,” says Kimberly Dunsmore, MD.
Dunsmore is the Chief of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at UVA's Children's Hospital and enjoys seeing her patients overcome cancer.
“Even though it's a rare disease for children, it is still one of the most common causes of illness in children age less than 15 years old,” says Dunsmore.
Krissy Pitts attended the dance marathon for the first time with her family. Her youngest daughter, Anna, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, but has since recovered and living life to the fullest.
“She has recently finished all of her treatment January 2nd of this year and she's doing amazing,” says Pitts. “It's a wonderful event to be able to come back an participate in and fell like I'm giving back to the community and the wonderful hospital that helped my daughter.”
To give back this year, families and survivors did a surprise dance for the UVA students.
“When you hear the words that your daughter or son has cancer, it throws your world upside down,” says Pitts. “But you just have to keep pushing it, take it day by day and eventually you will get through it just as our family and many other families.”
The money raised this year by over 400 UVA students will help with treatment and support at the children's hospital.
“There are kids all over the place and they are so happy, and you talk to their parents and they are so grateful for the difference we make in their lives,” says Eric Mace, 4th year at UVA and Chair of Dance Marathon.
“For the Kids All Day” was the motto for this year’s event and students danced for 15 hours, celebrating life while doing a two-step.
Students raised over 60 thousand dollars through fundraising efforts this year that will go to the uva children's hospital.