Dance Marathon raises $11k for Children’s Hospital, kids with cancer

Megan Fischer

Video by Megan Fischer.

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While playgrounds, school and friendly laughter are what most kids experience before they turn 18 years old, hospital beds, needles and doctors are a daily routine for some, and many children are treated for their illnesses at Children’s Hospital.

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Photos by Megan Fischer.

Colorado State University’s fourth Dance Marathon over three years raised $11,000 for Children’s Hospital. With the slogan “For The Kids,” the marathon itself lasted eight hours Saturday in the Lory Student Center Theater, but donations began coming in before the event.

“We’re dancing the whole eight hours, and we’re not going to stop because the kids at the hospital cannot just stop being sick,” said Giovanna Knudsen, a senior equine science major and the Dance Marathon executive director.

During the event, several families came and spoke about their children’s experiences at the hospital. CSU students also spoke.

Every hour started with a different story of family with a child or a student who was treated at Children’s Hospital and the “Morale Dance,” a mash-up of different songs with choreography the group learned at the beginning of the marathon.

“It caused me to really grow up faster than most 10-year-old kids should,” said Jacob Lazear, a business administration junior at CSU. “I’m very fortunate my tumor wasn’t cancerous.”

Lazear’s story began after some tests and an MRI. He was diagnosed with a ganglioglioma brain tumor and had surgery two weeks later. He was 10 years old.

“That two week window was probably one of the hardest times of my life,” Lazear said.

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After his surgery and some recovery time in the hospital, Lazear said he knew he wanted to volunteer at Children’s Hospital. He volunteered there from the age of 13 until he was 20 years old.

“In those seven years there, I made so many amazing memories and met so many amazing people,” Lazear said.

Lazear’s experience with a brain tumor was difficult for both him and his family, but he said the experience has shaped him into who he is today.

“I think it’s also what made me the person I am today, with how hard I’m willing to work and how much I’m willing to put forth in everything I do,” Lazear said.

The event highlighted the kids who are still in the hospital, the kids who are cured and the kids who have passed from cancer.

“Society is build up from the youth,” said Ginna Klein, a health and exercise science sophomore who is on the Morale Team for the Dance Marathon. “It’s a huge start to what our future is.”

The $11,000 raised will help both the hospital and the families staying there with their children who are getting treatment.

“One of the hardest things to think about is that kids are still at the hospital,” Knudsen said. “We don’t have a cure yet.”

Collegian Reporter Megan Fischer can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @MegFischer04.