Dance Marathon Raises Money for U of I Children's Hospital

By Heather Hubbs, Reporter

Dancers hold up glow sticks during Power Hour, a straight hour of dancing, at the University of Iowa Dance Marathon in Iowa City on February 2, 2013. This is the marathon's 19th year. The dance marathon is to benefit youth cancer victims and their families.(Kaitlyn Bernauer/The Gazette-KCRG-TV9)

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By Rachel Begle

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Students at the University of Iowa are gearing up for the 20th Dance Marathon.

Starting Friday night, students will dance for 24 hours straight to raise money for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. Over the years this event has raised more than $12.7 million.

All the money raise goes to help children fighting cancer.

The hospital uses the money for a variety of projects. They assist families of children who are struggling financially. They also use the money for cancer research, to try and find innovated new treatments for their patients.

"Every child has a different cancer and every cancer is different," said Dr. Yatin Vyas, Division Char of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. "It's incredibly important for us to understand the pathway of cancer and that's where research is critical to creating therapy that's not a sledgehammer approach but highly targeted therapies,"

Dr. Vyas says having a funding stream like Dance Marathon is unprecedented, especially in a time when science is taking the brunt of budget cuts in many places.

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