For the third consecutive year, I will be participating in Dance Marathon! Each year I try to provide a story to explain why I am dancing, and of course this normally winds up being not a story but a person who has inspired me to participate.
As you may already know, I am a tutor to pediatric patients in the hospital. Through this, I have met some of the most amazing and inspiring people that I know, most all of them under the age of 15. This year, I have two stories.
The first is about a high school student that I tutored. I had tutored this student a few times, and they were in the burn unit for severe burns covering their body. They were always willing to work when I would come in, despite not being able to write because their hands were severely burned. On the day of their discharge, I learned that this patient had been in the hospital for months, and recovered much faster than anyone, including the doctors, had anticipated. The burns this student had suffered were so severe that they were in a medically induced coma for 2 months, and was brought out of the coma 2 months earlier than expected, due to their fast recovery. Despite missing out on a semester of high school and other activities and sports, you would have never known how severe their medical battle had been by talking to them. Their perserverance throughout their illness is completely inspirational to anyone who met them.
This semester, I have started to work with another student. This student recently survived a brain tumor, but has now been diagnosed with another form of cancer. I have not had a day where this student has not been both willing and motivated to finish any and all of the assignments that I bring to their room to complete. After beating the brain tumor, this student was SO excited to finally be able to start and attend high school. However, after the second diagnosis, they have not yet been able to attend. Seeing how motivated and compelled this student is, and the level of disappointment with not being physically able to attend high school, should be an inspiration to all. There are days that everyone complains about going to school--how waking up early is the worst, or the homework is too much. But really, we should all be grateful that we are physically able to attend.
This semester I also began volunteering in the Rondal McDonald Family Room. This is a room within the hospital that provides parents of pediatric patients a place to relax. There is a TV with sofas and comfortable chairs, books, magazines, etc. There is also a small kitchen that always has fresh coffee and a variety of quick meals that the parents are provided, free of charge, while their child is admitted. Through this, I have gotten to know quite a few of the parents and understood how much this room and space is appreciated. Dance Marathon provides meals two nights a week in the family room to the parents of the patients. Having a warm meal provided means the world to these parents, and reminds me why DM is so important.
I am not asking anyone to donate so that I can dance for 24 hours, or to help sponsor my time. I am asking you to donate to help provide meals and gas cards for the parents and families of these great kids that I have met and had the great pleasure of getting to know. I honestly love my job, and I wouldn't trade it for any other experience. Everyday I go to work, I am blessed with the opportunity to count my blessings and to be inspired (yet again) by the wonderful kids that I am glad to call my students. Please donate if you feel comfortable to do so, any amount is appreciated!
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