Why Do UDance?

This week, UDance held our annual Week of Why. Week of Why is an annual week-long campaign striving to spread awareness about the fight against childhood cancer. During the week, students had the opportunity to reflect on why they participate in UDance and connect back to our mission.

In honor of Week of Why, we asked active members of the UDance Community to share their ‘why’, as well as moments and stories that remind them why they participate in UDance. We hope to share our mission and inspire others with our personal stories.

So this week, we asked the question: Why do UDance? And here are just a handful of the responses…

“When canning at the start of the semester, a man came up to me and my canning buddy Maddie and put a twenty dollar bill in our can. He then proceeded to ask us what the B+ foundation was, what UDance was, and why we were raising money. When explaining the cause he said with tears in his eyes, ‘I appreciate all you do and thank you because my wife just passed away from cancer and my grandson was just diagnosed’. He then walked away without another word. He was one of many that shared similar remarks. Until you get involved in something like UDance, it is hard to truly understand how many people childhood cancer impacts.”

-Grace Cogan, UDance Executive Board

“I dance to spread love and hope to families going through their most difficult times. Hope is a powerful thing, and the power of community can truly spread love and hope in many unforeseen ways. I know from experience that strangers can impact the lives of a family on a personal level. While we may never get to meet a majority of the people we help, knowing that I can have a positive impact during their most trying times makes me want to keep doing more. And when a community of individuals all have a small impact, the cascade effect is a large impact that can truly change lives.”

-Adam Bungarden, UDance Executive Board

“I will never forget the first time I heard Joe McDonough speak at Rave Run as a freshman. Hearing a father speak about losing their son at such a young age really put things in perspective for me, and I realized I could make an impact on families experiencing the same thing.”

-Kat Sigafoos, Club XCTF UDance Chair, Andrew’s Athletes

“A couple of years ago my best friend's sister was diagnosed with Leukemia. She went through months of chemotherapy treatments and her life was completely turned upside down in the span of weeks. Not only did I watch her struggle but I watched my best friend struggle too. I had always known that childhood cancer was a terrible thing, but first hand seeing its impact on people close to me drove me to care even more. After that, I knew I wanted to do anything I possibly could to help children and families like his. UDance gave me the opportunity to fight for the cause.”

-Alexandra Kinsey, Event Operations Committee

“I have developed an amazing friendship with Kristian, B+ Hero Leilani's brother, over the past few weeks. We first met at the B+ Hero park night. He is only in 7th grade, but he is so wise and has taught me so much. It's amazing how positive he is and how awesome of a brother he is for his older sister. Kristian is a living reminder that childhood cancer affects more than just the kids who have it, and that there are so many people who make sacrifices during these hard times.”

-Enzo Andaya, UDance Executive Board

“I dance for my Sunrise Camp family, like Noah, Eve, Avery, and Syed, and so that no child ever goes through what they have been through. Eve told me about her bravery beads and how impactful her doctors were. I want to be a doctor for children like her. My camper, Noah fell asleep in my arms and I carried him around camp. He was exhausted from being on active treatment and fell asleep in my arms. He looked completely drained and at 5 years old. No child should have to tackle treatment so, for him I dance.”

-Sophia Munier, Event Operations Committee

“My little brother, Lukas, passed away 4 years ago, from pediatric cancer. He was the strongest warrior anyone had ever met, and showed everyone around him nothing but kindness. When everyone around him needed a laugh through such a scary time, Lukas was the one to make us feel better, even though he was the one hurting. I dance for all of the children like Lukas, fighting the hardest battle of their lives. Lukas’s battle may have come to an end, but I’ll never stop fighting to end childhood cancer.”

-Katelyn Kusters, Community Outreach Committee

“Joe McDonough’s story really resonated with me. Joe was so excited to be a dad, just like me, and Andrew loved playing soccer, just like me. Childhood cancer can and will affect so many children and their families and I want to do everything in my power to change that.”

-Matt Lausch, UDance Engagement Coordinator

“When I was eight years old, my dad's best friend's son (basically my cousin), Anthony, was diagnosed with Leukemia. It drastically changed his family's lives forever. While I never really understood exactly what was wrong with Anthony, it was extremely frightening to me, so I could only imagine how Anthony's family felt every day, knowing they could lose their son at any minute. Fast forward to today, Anthony has overcome this awful disease and is now thriving as a healthy middle school kid. My dad and his four best friends from high school (one being Anthony's father) created a charity called the "Five Fathers Children's Charity". They have been able to help countless children and their families going through similar situations to Anthony by helping them pay for treatments, therapy, etc. Watching my dad go through the process of helping create this amazing charity showed me just how much anyone can help those in need, even when you mmay believe you can’t make change.”

-Maya Langin, Freshmen for the Kids (FFTK)

“I dance for my Nanny who passed away from breast cancer when I was seven years old. She fought for twelve years and had around the clock support from our whole family. My mom and aunts cared for her so well but it was so tough on them for so many years. I dance so children and their families don't have to go through what my Nanny or my family went through during those twelve years.”

-Nina Locatell, UDance Executive Board

”I feel incredibly moved knowing that UDance supports the financial needs of families impacted by childhood cancer, like rent. Taking these expenses off of their shoulders enables families to focus on giving their child the very best care. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in high school. I never wanted her to feel alone. At UDance, we focus on bringing the community together so that every child knows they have the support they need to focus on getting better.”

-Carolyn Gray, UDance Executive Board

“I dance because being a Student Athlete in college has been the best experience for me so far. I remember of being a kid and dreaming of being where I am now, and I want every kid to grow up and have the opportunity to chase their dreams whether it is to be an athlete, be in plays, or whatever they want! Every person deserves the opportunity to achieve their dreams!”

-Brianna Costa, UD Cheer Team: UDance Representative

”I am inspired by B+ Hero Victoria because she was everyone’s #1 supporter even on her worst days; she was strong like no other, and every child deserves the chance to make their own story in this world.”

-Madison Billips, Freshmen for the Kids (FFTK)

“I dance because when my mom was battling breast cancer herself, she told me how the worst part was seeing the kids with cancer getting the same awful treatments as her. No parents ever deserve to see their child go through something as grueling as childhood cancer.”

-Emily Guida, UDance Executive Board

“I dance because no kid, or family, should have to spend an overwhelming amount of time in the hospital. No kid should have to spend their free time receiving chemo instead of having a play date. No family should have to worry about finances when making medical decisions for their child. I dance to try to put all of this in the past.”

-Lauren Quigley, Freshmen for the Kids (FFTK)

”A few weeks ago I went canning with my close friend and fellow exec member, Jackie. Within the first 30 minutes of our canning trip, we had 3 separate people tell us that their child is battling cancer. Hearing so many strangers share a similar story in such a short amount of time truly shows how many families we are impacting with our work. I dance so we can change the narrative of these stories to be children we have saved, rather than children that are fighting.”

-Sabrina Schipper, UDance Executive Board

We hope that sharing a few of our stories inspires you to reflect on Why UDance. One day, we will dance in celebration, but until then, we dance for a cure.


Full Circle: B+ Hero to UDance Executive Board


Rave Run Recap