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A Letter to Dance Marathon

Dance Marathon has taught me a lot throughout my four years in college. Whether it be the organization skills I had to force upon myself, the truth that there is no shame in asking for help, or the fact that cutting tulle for hours on end will bring you to the brink of insanity- I owe a tremendous amount of credit to DM for making me the person I am today. However, more than that, I am thankful for Dance Marathon for teaching me the most important lesson I’ve learned thus far: what it means to be a human.

A lot of undeniably bad things happen in our world, every single day. Between violence, disease, poverty, and natural disasters, it can feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. However, Dance Marathon has taught me that there is also a lot of good. And that if you have an opportunity to make someone’s life better, you cannot pass it up.

It’s been four years since Dance Marathon entered my life. Four years of meeting amazing kiddos, incredible friends, inspiring leaders, and brave parents and siblings. I have learned that we’re all a lot more alike than we are different, seen the incredible generosity of those around me, and discovered the power of a “thank you.” I have seen firsthand what a group of like-minded individuals are capable of achieving, and learned that the term “dollar by dollar” takes new meaning when staring at Donor Drive on a fundraising push day. Most importantly, I refuse to believe that it is a coincidence that the best memories of my life are from making the lives of others better.

April 2nd will mark my last Dance Marathon as a student at the University of Illinois. However, for many of my peers it will just be the beginning of their journey with this amazing program. If I have one word of advice for you it is this: give 100%. Meet every miracle child, go to every special event, talk to the miracle parents, apply for the leadership team, go canning even when it’s sub-zero temperatures. Let Dance Marathon change your life, and I promise, you will not regret it.

To every part of the Miracle Network Dance Marathon movement: thank you for making the world a better place, and in return, all of us better people.

For The Kids,

Bailey Burns

IlliniThon President

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