When he was only 7 years old, he won his first national dance championship. A year later, he was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. After enduring strenuous surgeries and months of chemotherapy treatment at Children’s of Alabama, Alex beat cancer, and has been in remission since January 2009.
Alex never let his cancer get in the way of his dreams. In fact, he persevered through his illness and founded Dancers Fighting Cancer. This group raises money for childhood cancer research and awareness through various forms of dance.
This Sunday marks the 7th annual fundraiser, “Tapping Out Childhood Cancer.” The show consists of local dancers, singers, and dance teams. After that, there will be games for the kids, face painting, moonwalk, and more! This event has raised almost $115,000 for The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama. So, please join Alex at the Historic Alabama Theatre at 2:00pm, THIS Sunday!
Here is the link to sign up for the event:
This month UADM is going GOLD to support Childhood Cancer Awareness! To keep up with all that we are doing, follow us @UADanceMarathon.
Alex Grady's Story
Hi! My name is Alex Grady and I'm a sophomore from Iowa City, Iowa. Growing up in a college town (University of Iowa), I was surrounded by the idea of Dance Marathon from a young age. Starting in junior high I began to participate in the University of Iowa's Dance Marathon as a Spirit Dancer, which basically meant I got to be there for 4 hours during their 24 hour Big Event! Ever since my first Dance Marathon I realized that this was an organization that held a huge place in my heart. My family and high school community had been affected a lot by cancer and I knew that I wanted to help put a stop to it! Coming to Alabama UADM was the first organization that I made sure to reach out to. I'm now blessed to be in the second year of working for the Recruitment Team (whoop!) and I love seeing the progress that we're making as a group. This organization has helped me find a passion and given me a way to help better the world a dance at a time!
Our first month of school finally comes to a close and we are taking a moment to reflect on last year’s success and the momentum it has given us. Last year The University of Alabama Dance Marathon (UADM) dared to say $100k! We kicked off last year with a goal of raising $100k throughout the school year leading up to the final hour of our Main Event in March 2014. After raising $83, 061.09 the previous year, we were all nervous about this big 6 figure goal, but also excited for the challenge. During the final moments of the Main Event, we revealed the total we had worked so hard for. Everyone anxiously watched as the number was revealed on stage. A roar of cheers and a couple tears were shed when we saw $128, 702.06 appear on the stage. We not only met our goal of $100k, but beat it! We are very proud we beat our goal, but even more proud of the impact $128, 702.06 will do at Children’s of Alabama.
Later in the spring we joined The Center for Service and Leadership. We are so excited to be a part of this department and thankful for all the support we have received! It has been amazing to collaborate with other organizations, and even help with other service projects on campus.
This August, UADM kicked off the year with a bang! We participated at the Week of Welcome kick-off and Get On Board Day. We had a blast meeting more students on campus and speaking to them about our organization, our local Miracle Network Hospital, Children’s of Alabama, and how we are so passionate about serving others. During the third week of school we revealed our rebrand. UADM has always been a part of the Miracle Network Dance Marathon movement; however, this year UADM is uniting with Miracle Network Dance Marathons across the nation by incorporating the flame – the flame of hope, passion and determination. Our campaign, #BeTheSpark, invites all individuals across campus and the Tuscaloosa community to get involved and make a difference. We are thrilled to have officially rebranded and love our new look!
The weekend of Friday, August 28 to Sunday, August 30 was filled with fun and work: We had over 15 members volunteer on Friday and Saturday for Radiothon at Children’s of Alabama. They were able to help answer phone calls as well as speak on two different radio stations about our organization! On Friday, some members were able to play Just Dance at Children’s of Alabama with the patients. Not only did we have a great time dancing with the patients, but we loved seeing the smiles on their faces. Starting at 10 AM on Saturday, the UADM marketing team put on the first ever UADM Miracle Kid Photo Shoot at Children’s of Alabama. The day was filled with video/photography, cupcakes and laughter! It was an amazing opportunity to not only get updated footage of our amazing Miracle Kids and hospital, but to spend time with our Miracle Families and bond. On Sunday, August 30, our executive members met in Atlanta at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta Foundation to meet with our regional manager and other Dance Marathons in our region. It was a time for collaboration and inspiration. Finally, last week we had our first spirit night at Super Skate, which we called Sk80’s! There was music, card making for Children’s of Alabama patients, and plenty of leg warmers. We had over 150 come out to skate, raiseing over $450!
We are currently in the process of bringing on new members to our family. Every week we find a new opportunity to learn, work and grow. 2015 has been such an amazing year so far and has given us so much momentum. A big thank you to The Center for Service and Leadership! We could not be more excited to be a part of your family!
You can also see this blog post as well as other organizations blogs on the CSL blog! Check it out here!