Texas Christian University Dance Marathon (TCU DM) is a year-long fundraising effort in which students, faculty, and members of the Fort Worth community come together to raise money in support of our local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Cook Children's Medical Center. The year of fundraising efforts concludes with a 12-hour event where students stay standing and dance on their feet to celebrate the children from Cook Children's and the participants' hard fundraising efforts. Miracle families from the hospital join participants in games, food, fun, and celebration before the final total is revealed in a closing ceremony. The funds raised and the hours spent standing will all be done for the kids (FTK). To quote the Children's Miracle Network Dance Marathon's mission statement, we are:
"This generation fighting for the next!"
In Loving Memory of Taylor Renee Helland
Taylor Helland was only 14 years old when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She began to endure trials that no fourteen year old should have to endure like multiple surgeries, over 24 rounds of chemotherapy, and countless nights spent at Cook Children’s Medical Center. Taylor was able to spend her senior year of high school cancer free, but the cancer returned just before her freshman year at TCU.
Even when Taylor was given these trials to endure, she decided to Choose Joy in everything that came her way. This became her motto. Choose Joy no matter what kind of news the doctors would tell her. Choose Joy no matter how painful her treatments might be. Choose Joy no matter how many things she might be missing out on.
Taylor became a part of the TCU Dance Marathon family as more than just a Miracle Kid. Her sophomore year, she also became a committee member on the TCUDM marketing team. As she continued to endure chemo treatments on top of her school work, Taylor came to meetings and was always willing to help the place that was fighting to save her life.
Taylor passed away the morning of February 20, 2016, the day of Dance Marathon. Taylor never once let cancer defeat her. Because of her Choose Joy attitude, Taylor won every single day. Taylor inspired us to Choose Joy in everything we do, because everything we do is for kids like her. We will continue to Choose Joy until there is no longer a reason for us to dance. But until then, we will dance, and we will Choose Joy.