Dance to fight cancer in kids

UVM has planned a peaceful protest to dance its way through the fight against pediatric cancer.

The first annual UVM Dance Marathon benefiting the B+ Foundation will be held Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Grand Maple Ballroom of the Davis Center.

The event will go through the night, ending at 7 a.m. Feb. 22.

ÒThis is a great event,Ó said Ty Williams, president of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

The fraternity will be helping with the set up and break down of the event as well as fundraising $1,500 on behalf of the foundation.

There will be bake sales held in the Davis Center every week leading up to the event to show support.

Anyone is able to sign up to be a dancer, pledging to raise $200. They will receive free admission, a T-shirt and a Òswag bagÓ full of goodies.

To start of the evening a 12-year-old cancer patient currently being treated for Leukemia will share his story.

Joe McDonough, founder of the B+ Foundation, came to speak to the University about the organization.

It was truly inspiring, according to sophomore Shannon Lozito, a board of executives member coordinating the UVMaraTHON.

Every day 46 children and teens are diagnosed with cancer, according to bepositive.org.

However, fewer than four percent of government funds for cancer research are dedicated to pediatric cancer.

The B+ Foundation supports pediatric cancer research and provides direct financial assistance to families and patients in need, according to their website.

McDonough created the foundation in honor of his son, Andrew who passed away at age 14.

AndrewÕs mother, Chris McDonough, shared the background behind the foundations name in a video on the foundationÕs website.

She said that B+ was not only her sonÕs blood type, but it was also the attitude that Andrew lived with during his struggle against Leukemia.

With his positivity, he was able to live for 166 bonus days, according to the website.

The B+ Foundation mainly operates locally and the money raised at the UVMaraTHON event aims to directly benefit families struggling with pediatric cancer in and around the Burlington community, according to the website.

The UVM Dance Marathon is modeled after Penn StateÕs Thon and hopes to raise $25,000 this year, according to Lozito.

The UVMaraTHON hopes to become an annual tradition, to encourage active community engagement to combat pediatric cancer, according to Lozito.