Dance Marathon Annual Report

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University of Iowa Dance Marathon 2010 Annual Report








    When you donate to University of Iowa Dance Marathon you are joining thousands of others by making a bold statement. You are showing support for the children and families fighting pediatric cancer. You are recognizing that pediatric cancer does not only impact the children but also their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and their loved ones. You help generate the resources that will provide emotional and financial support that are so vital to the mission of UI Dance Marathon. You are willing to help young children receive exceptional medical care. Finally, your support of University of Iowa Dance Marathon signifies your commitment to celebrating life and giving hope to children and their families.



    FOR you

    Dear Friends,

    The 2009-2010 academic year was a remarkable journey full of challenges and achievements for University of Iowa Dance Marathon. We are proud to share the stories of our families and students, as well as provide more insight into the financial support provided by the organization in this inaugural University of Iowa Dance Marathon Annual Report. This year marked Dance Marathons 16th annual 24-hour BIG Event, and the 16th year for students at The University of Iowa to provide emotional and financial support for children and their families being treated for pediatric cancer at University of Iowa Childrens Hospital. DM 16 was a year in which the students of UI Dance Marathon recommitted themselves to supporting the mission of the organization. It was a year that has been summed up by the simple slogan that has driven the organization since its inception, FTK! For the kids!

    It was decided last year that for the first time in its history UI Dance Marathon would not set a monetary goal. The goal for DM 16 would be instead to have 1,600 Dancers attend the annual BIG Event. The figure was based on the number of pediatric cancer treatments that occur annually at University of Iowa Childrens Hospital. The Leadership Team for UI Dance Marathon wanted to have one dancer for every time one of the kids received a cancer treatment.

    As UI Dance Marathon has grown over the years, the programs and projects we fund for the kids have grown. Over the past year, we have been proud that the seasonal family events have continued not only to improve, but also to introduce a new family event with a trip to Grand Harbor Water Park.

    We know that as we begin planning Dance Marathon 17 we have a great responsibility to continue the traditions of service and dedication that have been the hallmarks of the organization. We know that the year will provide challenges in the light of the countrys current economic conditions, but we face these challenges with confidence. Our confidence comes from the overwhelming support we have received from individuals such as yourselves, and from the knowledge that as long as the kids continue their fight so will we.

    Always For The Kids!

    Colette Forcier Mark Baccei 2010 Executive Director, UI Dance Marathon Assistant Director, Office of Student Life Advisor, UI Dance Marathon

    Message from Dance Marathon,s Executive Director and Advisor

  • FOR lifeSorry were late! Dana Smith yelled from across the street. She quickly grabbed ahold of her daughters hand and began to cross. Dressed in matching pink shirts with the words Just Dance! written across the front, the three girls followed in unison.

    The girls have been looking forward to this interview all day, Dana shared with a smile. The three girls were busy bouncing around the studio as the cameras and lights were being set up. The Smiths will be the featured family for this years annual DM Recruitment Video.

    From the outside, the Smiths looked like your average, happy American family. However, from the beginning of the interview it was quite apparent that they had been through much more than any average family.

    When we first found out about Raelynn having cancer, it was quite a shockNo one expects the word cancer, Brad Smith answered when asked about his daughters diagnosis.

    FYI: The Student - Family Representative

    UI Dance Marathon 2010 was proud to sponsor over 350 families throughout the year. Each family sponsored by Dance Marathon has the opportunity to have a student-family representative. The family reps contact their families throughout the year to provide support and to serve as a personal link to Dance Marathon. The program also assists with Dance Marathons recruitment and retention efforts by providing participants the chance to directly experience a familys story dealing with pediatric cancer.

    Raelynn Smith was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, soft tissue cancer, in June 2006 at age seven. The cancer was located behind her right eye. To fight off the cancer, Raelynn went through 24 weeks of chemotherapy. Once this treatment was over, she went through intense radiation therapy five days a week for five consecutive weeks.

    The weeks spent in the hospital as Raelynn fought for her life were both terrifying and exhausting, but there was hope to help them through. All during our hospital stays we met a ton of Dance Marathon students, Dana Smith recalled. They came to Raelynns room and picked her up and took her off to activities. A huge smile covered Raelynns tiny face as she remembered her experiences with Dance Marathon students.

    In addition to the support the Smith family experienced in the hospital, they were also able to attend Dance Marathons BIG EVENT in February 2009. Ill never forget talking on the way home from the event, Brad remembered with teary eyes. We were calling everyone to tell them about it.


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  • Raelynn and sisters, Kiara and Ella, were far from short of words when asked about their experience at Dance Marathon. They giggled as they spoke about dancing on stage with Dance Marathon students and playing with Herky.

    Throughout the interview, Brad and Dana spoke about the amazing relationships they have built through Dance Marathon. The way Dance Marathon joins families together who are going through similar experiences is incredible, Dana said. It gives us a chance to connect with someone who we can truly relate towe are always looking forward to the next family event or get together.

    Raelynn has been in remission since January 2008 and has been cancer-free ever since! The Smiths are now busy celebrating each cancer-free day and love being able to give hope to other families who are still battling cancer.

    Name: Raelynn SmithDiagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in June 2006 at age seven

    Went through 24 weeks of chemotherapy and intense radiationtherapy five days a week for five consecutive weeks

    In remission since January 2008 andhas been cancer-free ever since

    Now busy celebrating each cancer free day and loves being able to give hope to other families who are still battling cancer

    DM memory: dancing on stage with Dance Marathon students and playing with Herky



    In the summer of 2008 the state of Iowa and the cities of Cedar Rapids, Coralville, and Iowa City were hit by the worst flooding in state history. In the midst of the flood, the students of UI Dance Marathon demonstrated the resilience and dedication that have been hallmarks of the organization. While parts of The University of Iowa were closed, the students of Dance Marathon organized and carried out a family event in Dubuque, IA, at Grand Harbor Water Park. Just because there was a flood did not mean the families stopped battling cancer. They did not stop, so we couldnt either, remarked Brian Martin, the 2008 Family Relations Director. In spite of the flood, the students moved forward with the family event at Grand Harbor.

    The success from Grand Harbor has sparked the growth of the event. This year the students have already grown the event to Lost Island Water Park in Waterloo, Iowa. Multiple families contact us early in the year to get our event dates, so they can plan

    their summers around them, said Becky Coe, the 2009 Family Relations Director.

    The students of UI Dance Marathon organize seasonal family events that are meant to provide the children and families a break from their normal regiment of treatments and life with cancer. One of the major pieces of the Dance Marathon mission is to provide emotional support, and the students have found that the family events do just that. The family events are a great opportunity for the kids to simply be kids, said Martin. The events give the families a chance to forget about the hospital, cancer, and all the other things for a few hours.

    For more information about the families of UI Dance Marathon, visit

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    FYI: Forever Families

    Pediatric cancer is one of the most heroic battles a child or family can face. When that battle is won, it is no small accomplishment and a great reason to celebrate. Dance Marathon has the Forever Families program for families who have been cancer-free for five or more years. The families mark the transition into the Forever Families program through a graduation ceremony at the annual BIG Event. This year the ceremony was conducted by Dr. Michael Artman, Physician-in-Chief of University of Iowa Childrens Hospital, and many other hospital faculty and staff.


    We have heard many families say, especially those in treatment, they could not afford to do these regular family things.

    - Becky Coe, 2010 Family Relations Director UI Dance Marathon



    FOR studentsThink about a college student. What comes to mind? Do you see someone sitting in a hospital room? Perhaps someone writing letters to family and friends asking for donations to help people they have never met? What about someone who has been standing on their feet for 24-hours, passing up the opportunity to take a nap, have a pop, or simply sit down? Most likely you have answered, No, and most likely you have never met Manish Aggarwal or any one of the other 1,356 students who attended Dance Marathons 16th annual BIG Event.

    I was a junior, and a friend told me I had to do it before I left Iowa, reminisced Manish Aggarwal, now a medical student at The University of Iowa from Marion, Iowa. I attended the BIG Event not exactly sure what Dance Marathon was all about, and after the last family speaker I turned to my friend and told him that I needed to do more and be more a part of this organization. Up until that time Manish was by all accounts a great student, academically strong and involved around campus.

    Until I joined Dance Marathon I felt I was missing somethingI wanted to be a part of something positive, but was not able to find it with other activities or groups.

    Manishs senior year found him part of the Dance Marathon Hospital Committee, a group of students who volunteer at least 10 hours a week, 12 months a year on the pediatric hematology-oncology floor at University of Iowa Childrens Hospital. The Hospital Committee is one of several parts of the organization that have students working and interacting with the families. The students and families develop relationships that act like a blanket of hope for families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer, commented Michelle Altmaier, Director of Childrens Miracle of Network. Dance Marathon students gain memories and experiences that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. Manish summed up his Dance Marathon experience when he said, Realistically, I never knew whether I would or even could make a difference in the lives of any of the patients or the lives of their families. However, I knew that I wanted to do something good. That is what the organization has always meant to me. DM is a large group of students each doing their own small amount of good. Making a difference is really just a result of that collective effort.





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    UI Dance Marathon creates amazing opportunities to foster relationships among students, families, and staff of University of Iowa Childrens Hospital. The relationships created allow for remarkable co-curricular educational experiences for Iowa students. Even more significant, is that through these students and their relationships, this organization has become a powerful agent of change that has left a lasting mark on countless lives and the entire UI Community.William Nelson, Ph.D.Director, Office of Student Life andChair, DM Allocations Committee

    The DM students see first-hand the consequences of childhood cancer. I believe that the students learn empathy and gain tremendous self-awareness as they help children and families. Students realize that there are far more important things in life and that many of their own worries pale in comparison to those that our patients face.

    Michael Artman, MD, Physician-in-Chief, University of Iowa Childrens Hospital

    Photo of Coleman Larson and Manish Aggarwal, DM Leadership Team member


    FOR hopeFOR THE KIDS!Oncology & Sibling Summer Camps ($50,000): Summer camp for children currently battling cancer and a separate camp for siblings.

    Courage Capes ($4,000): Flannel capes given to patients and siblings to serve as a blanket and/or fun cape.

    Nu-Du Program ($3,000): Service to help provide wigs, alternative head coverings, hair styling, and other related salon services for pediatric cancer patients.

    Sibling Support Group ($2,000): Support group that provides social, emotional, and developmental outlets for siblings of pediatric cancer patients.

    Coping Tools for Kids with Cancer ($1,250): Teaching tools and special chemo caps given to children undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

    Celebrating Life ($1,000): Funding to honor life events (birthdays, end of treatment, etc.) for hospitalized children.

    FAMILY SUPPORTDance Marathon Family Relations Budget ($86,934): Annual operating budget for programs overseen and carried out by student members of UI Dance Marathon Family Relations Committee, which include seasonal family events, Holiday gift cards, and many other programs.

    UI Dance Marathon Hospital Bill Program ($60,000): Each family receives up to $1,000 per calendar year to help cover out-of-pocket expenses (co-payments, deductibles, etc) that result from their childs medical treatment.

    Dancing in Our Hearts ($36,876): Memorial fund to help cover the funeral and/or memorial expenses.

    UI Dance Marathon Comfort Kit Program ($30,000): Packets consist of phone cards, gas vouchers, parking passes, food vouchers, and hotel vouchers for families.

    Dance Marathon Pharmacy Co-Pay Program ($26,550): Funding for up to $1,000 per calendar year to help pay for UIHC Pharmacy co-payments.

    Ronald McDonald House Family Parking Passes ($25,000): UI Dance Marathon covers the parking costs for all patients staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

    Continental Breakfast ($5,230): Project that provides free breakfast each Friday for all family members of inpatients of UI Childrens Hospital. The program is funded through a partnership with Childrens Miracle Network and Iowa State University Dance Marathon.

    Food and Beverage Carts for Grieving Families ($4,800): Cart service of food and beverages for a family who has just lost their child.

    Sibling Grief Kits ($2,500): Developmentally appropriate activities and coping items to provide emotional support for siblings of patients who are dying or have passed away.

    Massage Therapy (continuation of existing funds): Program that provides therapeutic massage to patients and family members.

    Planning for the Future Reproduction Program (continuation of existing funds): Program for young males with cancer to collect, freeze, and store sperm until they are ready to have a child, due to the impact of chemotherapy drugs on male reproduction.

    FACILITY & EQUIPMENTRemodeling/Reconstruction of the Treatment Room on 3JCP ($60,000): Project to expand the treatment room to ensure all procedures for inpatient children can be completed safely and to accomodate all health care team members and parents.

    Pediatric Surgery Headlamps ($16,613): Funding to purchase new headlight system for pediatric surgery operating rooms.

    Accu Vein Viewer ($13,733): Technology instrument that aids in the detection of veins to help reduce pain and trauma to children during needle sticks and IV insertions during chemotherapy.









    The support from DM for our educational and research programs will have a long-lasting future impact as we work to find better ways to diagnose, treat, cure, and even prevent childhood cancer. Michael Artman, MD, Physician-in-Chief, University of Iowa Childrens Hospital

    Height Measuring Devices ($8,500): Precision measuring equipment for Pediatric Specialty Clinic.

    Music Technology ($3,953): Software to allow patients to create and compose music, songs, and other expressive outlets during the course of treatment.

    RESEARCHUI Dance Marathon Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Research Laboratories ($500,000): First year of a two-year commitment for renovation of laboratory research space and creation of a research fund.

    Image Guided Therapy of Medulloblastoma in Children ($30,000): Research project to develop new methods to target brain tumors in pediatric cancer patients.

    24-Hour ECG Monitoring ($12,000): Research project intended to determine early warning signs based on heart alterations.

    EDUCATIONChild Life Assistants ($48,935): Program to employ students to serve as assistants in the Child Life program, which provides valuable services to patients and their families.

    Dance Marathon Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinical Fellow ($25,000): Funding for first year of clinical fellowship.

    Temporary Psychology Graduate Student for Comprehensive Pediatric Oncology Services ($20,800): Graduate position to assist with the development of a new evaluation tool for newly diagnosed families.

    Computer Assistant Salary ($16,320): UI student position to help maintain equipment and to provide technical support to patients and their families.

    Dance Marathon Scholarship Program ($12,000): Scholarship program to provide financial support to hematology/oncology pediatric patients and UIDM families who have received or are currently receiving treatment at UI Childrens Hospital and who are attending The University of Iowa.

    Laptop Funding ($8,818): Usage of new laptops to patients and families being treated at UI Childrens Hospital.

    National Oncology Conference Attendance ($5,820): Educational fund to provide nurses with ongoing education about the care and treatment of pediatric cancer patients.

    Music Therapy Student Office Assistant ($3,900): UI student position to aid Music Therapist with the upkeep of instruments, play lists, iPods, and other logistical tasks.

    UI Dance Marathon Student Assistant ($2,000): UI student position to help in the administrative and clerical support for program implementation at UI Childrens Hospital.


    How dance marathon helps the KIDS!*Breakdown of Allocated Programs

    Total Research:$542,000.00

    Total Programs for the Kids!: $61,250.00

    Total Family Support:$277,892.07

    Total Education: $143,593.00

    Total Facility & Equipment:$102,801.08

  • 52% Allocated Programs

    33% Funds for Future/ Committed Projects

    6% Operating Expenses

    FOR the kids


    3% Administrative fees

    2% Available/uncommitted funds

    2% BIG Event

    2% Student organization and leadership development

    0.5% Contribution to endowment

    Spending Breakdown


    P lanning for the FutureUI Dance Marathon Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Research Laboratories:

    We are pleased to announce that University of Iowa Dance Marathon has made a $1 million, (over two-years) gift commitment to University of Iowa Childrens Hospital to support research into pediatric cancer and blood disorders.

    The gift, made through the UI Foundation, designates $750,000 for renovation of laboratory space for this purpose in the states only comprehensive academic medical center, and $250,000 to create a special research fund. In recognition of the gift, the renovated lab area will be named the University of Iowa Dance Marathon Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Research Laboratories.

    You can read more about this gift and the impact it will have on patients and families who are facing childhood cancer on our website:


    CONGRATULATIONSto the two top fundraisers for Dance Marathon 2010

    Mary Peterson Award (Top Greek Chapter):Kappa Alpha Theta, $19,733.16

    Lisa Baum Award (Top Individual):Nicole Brokloff, $4,105.99



    Colette Forcier Executive DirectorSenior, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Becky CoeFamily Relations DirectorSenior, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Ben Friedman Business DirectorSenior, Tippie College of Business

    Kyle-Dale Walters Event DirectorJunior, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Sarah FreedDevelopment DirectorSenior, College of Education

    Jared Bogue Sponsorship DirectorSenior, College of Engineering

    Eric BanwarthMorale DirectorSenior, Tippie College of Business

    Jenny CarrollPR-Marketing DirectorSenior, Tippie College of Business

    Wendy SteffenFacilities DirectorSenior, Tippie College of Business

    Megan JonesHospital DirectorGraduate College



    Colette Forcier Executive Director

    Becky Coe Family Relations Director

    Ben Friedman Business Director

    Kyle-Dale Walters Event Director

    Megan Jones Hospital Director


    John Werner Social Worker

    Dr. Ray Tannous Pediatric Hematology Oncology Department Chair

    Gwen Senio Child Life Director

    Jody Kurtt Chief Nursing Officer

    Tim Gaillard Chief Administrator

    FOR the kids



    Chris Klitgaard UI Dance Marathon Alumni

    Patrick Cebrzynski UI Student Government

    Cory Lockwood Iowa Memorial Union

    Tom Cilek Iowa City Community Member


    William Nelson, Ph.D. Allocations Committee Chair & Office of Student Life Director

    Mark Baccei Executive Secretary Allocations Committee & Office of Student Life Assistant Director

    Michelle Altmaier Childrens Miracle Network Director

    Kristin Loupee-Beckman UI Foundation Representative

    Mary Gilroy UI Foundation Representative

    Dr. Michael Artman Physician-in-Chief


    FYI: DM Allocations Committee

    The Dance Marathon Allocations Committee is a group of students, University of Iowa Childrens Hospital faculty and staff, community members, and University officials. The Allocations Committee meets twice a year to hear and consider financial requests for funds raised by Dance Marathon. The Committee then votes on these requests, choosing projects and programs that will both fit the mission of Dance Marathon and fit the short- and long-term goals of University of Iowa Childrens Hospital.


    Contact Information:University of Iowa Dance Marathon

    145 Iowa Memorial UnionIowa City, IA 52242



    Always For The Kids!If you are interested in making a donation to UI Dance Marathon, please visit our website -, or contact

    FYI: DM 2010 at a Glance

    University of Iowa Dance Marathon provides numerous opportunities for students to meet the IOWA Challenge, which calls upon Hawkeyes to Excel, Stretch, Engage, Choose, and Serve. In February 2010, 1,357 students attended the annual 24-hour BIG Event. Each student who attended raised at least $400 and at the end of the event the final toteboard revealed a cumulative total of $1,058,658.16.