UI Dance Marathon Raises $1.8 Million for Pediatric Cancer Research


By Larry Burkum

IOWA CITY, Iowa - What started out 20 years ago as an idea to help others is one of the University of Iowa's signature social events... the Dance Marathon.

Through the first 19 years of the UI Dance Marathon, thousands of dancers raised more than $12 million to help support the pediatric cancer patients at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

In 2013, the students and dancers raised more than $1.5 million.

Now a new focus on getting former Hawkeyes involves as Dance Marathon leaders say they reached out to three times to alumni for 2014.

"It's amazing to know that people are so selfless," said Jodee Manning, a parent of a cancer patient.

For a student to participate, the rules are quite simple. Gotta stand the whole 24 hours... Dancing, of course, is preferred. No caffeine, either. Also, each dancer must raise a minimum of $400.

"It gives me motivation. It shows me what I can do when others can't," said Michaela Recker, a first year student at the university.

We met one student who scraped together more then $3,000 to help young cancer patients.

More than 1,500 students participated this year, raising just over $1.8 million to help fund pediatric cancer research at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Also during this year's marathon, 16 children were honored for being five years cancer free.

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