People in the audience react to Dance Marathon participants cutting their hair to donate to make wigs. The 22nd annual Dance Marathon was Jan. 26 in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. Dance Marathon is a fundraiser where all the money raised is directly given to University of Iowa Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network.


Iowa fans wave at patients in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital during the football game against Iowa State at Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 8, 2018.

Carson King has done something remarkable. He raised over $2.5 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s hospital. Carson’s selfless act has shown Iowa State University, the state of Iowa and the nation what it means to be for the kids.

While Carson’s donation will leave a profound impact on Stead and the patients at the hospital, this movement will not stop with Carson. Carson’s “for the kids” movement that has been displayed nationwide the past few weeks, has been on campus at Iowa State since 1998 when Dance Marathon at Iowa State was founded. This movement will be present in a big way on Jan. 25, 2020, when Dance Marathon holds our annual big event in the Memorial Union.

Dance Marathon at Iowa State is the largest student-led philanthropic organization on campus. 100 percent of the funds that we raise go to the Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Specifically, we are raising money for a revolutionary program at Stead called Hemodynamics. Hemodynamics is a program that is using advanced technology to track the hearts of premature babies to mitigate heart-related risks. In the first year of the program, 600 babies were treated. Hemodynamics is saving the lives of children, and we are honored that Iowa State gets to fund this program.

Many have referred to Carson King as a legend in the past few weeks. There are a lot of other legends that we as an organization work with every day. These legends inspire us to keep fundraising, advocating and sharing our mission at Iowa State.

Malcolm underwent ten rounds of chemo before he was two years old. He is a legend. Sophia has undergone two open-heart surgeries. She is a legend. Reese spends at least an hour a day undergoing treatments to keep her body healthy. She is a legend. Gus spent 12 days on ECMO and came out nearly unscathed. He is a legend. Austin lost his battle to cancer, but still reminds us every day to “win the day.” He is a legend.

If you are inspired by what Carson has done, consider signing up for Dance Marathon. One check won’t change children’s health. It takes a movement of people who are committed year-round to the kids. We dance to change kid’s health, so that one day we may dance because we changed the future. I hope you join us in that fight this year by signing up for Dance Marathon 2020.

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