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Opinion: Fight against cancer unites dancers at BuckeyeThon

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Students reveal BuckeyeThon’s total fundraised amount of more than $1.23 million during the annual dance marathon’s closing ceremonies on Feb. 7 at the Ohio Union. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

One team. One dream. One million. Challenge accepted.

My fourth and final BuckeyeThon was definitely one for the books. Each year has been a completely different experience, but yet I feel the same full heart every time I exit the Ohio Union when it’s all completed.

There’s something so special about being surrounded by so many fellow Buckeyes for one common cause. There’s something about seeing everyone in their crazy outfits, ugly crying all night. There’s something about seeing all of the kids, their families and hearing their stories. There’s something about cancer and how it unites so many people.

Cancer really stinks. It’s plain and simple. It affects too many people’s lives and takes too many of those lives way too soon. It’s taken several lives from me that I wish I could have back.

Everyone’s experiences with cancer are different, but yet all are so similar. Each one involves many hospital visits, chemotherapy treatments and tears. Some are victorious, while others aren’t. We, as Buckeyes, danced to change that.

We dance to save lives. Even bad dancing saves lives. We stand for 12 hours for those who can’t. The pain after those 12 hours is nothing compared to the pain that cancer patients feel. Nothing compared to the pain after losing a loved one to it. We are trying to change that so that no one has to experience cancer again.

Standing for 12 hours with thousands of other Buckeyes is one of my favorite memories of college. It has brought me laughs, tears, smiles, memories and, most importantly, lessons.

It has taught me to live each day like it’s my last. It has taught me that it’s OK to cry in front of strangers. It has taught me to appreciate each thing that life has to offer. It has taught me that even the hardest battles can be won.

This year’s BuckeyeThon was no different, but at the same time, it was. It was different because we accepted a challenge and accomplished it.

When I saw the numbers raised, one by one, my stomach was nervous, excited and confident. Then when I saw the “1” raised, I cried. I cried for all of those children who will be helped. I cried for the families. I cried for everyone I’ve known and know with cancer. I cried because I’ve never been more proud to be a Buckeye.

Challenge completed.

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