Southport High is hosting our annual Riley Dance Marathon in March to raise money and spread awareness for the amazing kids at Riley Hospital for Children! We'll learn dances all night and hang out with guests from Riley. It's going to be an incredible night for an incredible cause!
Riley doesn't turn anyone away because they can't pay, and they will go to the ends of the earth to find a treatment for any condition. I know several people who have been treated at Riley, including my best friend in the entire world! She is very dear to my heart, and so is this cause. <3 I love her to pieces, and we need to help them continue to change lives!
I was also treated at Riley when I was in kindergarten, and I know first-hand what an awe-inspiring place it is. I went for surgery for my tonsilitis, and everyone was encouraging and kind to me, and always made sure I was safe and happy. I was never afraid there; instead of being scared, Riley helped me to embrace my surgery.
However, most kids at Riley don't get to leave after a few days. They're there for a long time, and they have to deal with much more serious issues than too-big tonsils. Ryan White was one of these kids.
Our Dance Marathon this year is in Ryan's honor. He was an Indiana teenager diagnosed with AIDS in December 1984, and he was treated at Riley Hospital. A hemophiliac, Ryan contracted HIV through a blood transfusion when he was just 13. AIDS was a new, poorly understood disease then, and Ryan was discriminated against by his peers and their parents. People vandalized his home and slashed the tires on his family's car. He was even banned from attending school! His fight to attend school and raise awareness about AIDS was publicized, and Ryan became the nation's poster child for the disease. He lived for five years longer than anyone thought he could, until he passed away on April 8, 1990. He was eighteen years old.
Ryan White is the reason Riley is the way it is. He inspired people to look beyond their differences. He made so many friends in his life, and one of his closest friends throughout his fight to go to school wanted to do something in his memory. And that is how the Dance Marathon was born.
Even though the Dance Marathon is still a ways away, kids like Ryan, and kids staying in hospitals, still need your support. Any money you donate will go straight to Riley Hospital for Children to help them out. Last year, RDM raised over $27,000! Help us raise even more this year. Don't feel discouraged; donations don't need to be large, because every penny makes a difference! Donate today, and save a life tomorrow. So, in short, push that button like crazy!
Please pass this on to anyone who you think may want to help The Cause. (Seriously, it would help a bunch! Awareness is half the battle!)
Save the date: March 24, 2012. Remember, it's for the kids! (:
And thank you so much to all of my donors. You've really made this a reality. It wouldn't be possible without you!