Katy Bennett

By

Why I DanceBlue: Ethan's Story

Published: Feb 20, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2013)DanceBlue 2013 is just a few days away and for many UK students, the marathon is not only a way to honor the children and families of the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic, it is a way for them to honor those that they have lost.

 

In 2008, Ethan Ritter, 2013 DanceBlue overall chair, lost his cousin Zach to cancer. Below is his first-person account of love, loss and how DanceBlue allows him to honor his cousin's memory.

 


 

We were like brothers.

 

My cousin Zachary and I grew up together - literally. His house sits right next to my parents and he and his sisters were my second set of siblings growing up. They were my best friends and fellow troublemakers. We learned to ride bikes without training wheels together and how to sneak to each other’s houses and back without our parents knowing we were gone.

 

Zach was famous for digging huge holes in his backyard; we were all famous for making snow days incredible. During my eighth grade year, my cousin Zachary was diagnosed with cancer. He was 10 years old. A lump on his lower back proved to be alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissues. 

 

When Zach was diagnosed with cancer, we knew things were going to change. The digging of backyard holes was suspended and his baseball glove stayed in his garage for months at a time. For three and a half years we witnessed him fight a disease over which he had no control.

 

It may have stolen his energy, but never his hope and love of life. On Aug. 1, 2008, I said goodbye to Zach for the last time. 

 

It seems like more and more we hear these types of stories. Cancer knows no boundaries, economic or social status; it can affect your child, your neighbor or your best friend.

 

Each spring, for the past seven years, DanceBlue has brought thousands of students together to dance for 24 hours, without sitting or sleeping. We come as a group of individuals, from across the state, the country and the world carrying with us our own stories and experiences. We come from different backgrounds bearing our own views and beliefs, but we stand for one cause - the kids.

 

Our campus’ yearlong efforts support cancer research at the Markey Cancer Center and social support at the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic. Throughout the year, as a part of DanceBlue’s Adopt-a-Family Program, dancers and teams become connected to the families we serve. We know their faces and names, their hopes and dreams. It is, and always will be, an absolute honor to dance for them and to be part of their story. 

 

So this week, as I begin to break in my “marathon sneakers” and get a few more donations, I remember my cousin Zach and think about kids just like him in a similar situation. I remember his thirst for life and know that so many others are thirsting just the same. I remember what it feels like to be a kid myself and prepare myself to dance without inhibition.

 

For 24 hours we dance for life, for Zach, for Kentucky, for our families, for hope and For The Kids.  

 

The eighth annual DanceBlue dance marathon kicks off at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at Memorial Coliseum on UK's campus and concludes at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23. DanceBlue is UK’s 24 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Oncology Clinic. Since its inception in 2006, DanceBlue has raised more than $3.5 million for pediatric cancer research and children with cancer.

 

DanceBlue is a program housed in the Center for Community Outreach. The CCO seeks to serve, connect and unite the University of Kentucky with the surrounding community in collaborative efforts to promote life-long community service. For more information about the CCO, visit getinvolved.uky.edu/cco. Connect with the CCO on Facebook here and on Twitter at twitter.com/ukcco.

 

Give to DanceBlue here and connect with DanceBlue on Facebook at www.facebook.com/danceblue and on Twitter at twitter.com/UKDanceBlue.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett, katy.bennett@uky.edu, (859) 257-1909

db4.jpgdb_for_uknow.jpg
April
 
 
 
 
 
1
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Last day to withdraw from the University or reduce course load. Students can withdraw or reduce course load after this date only for “urgent non-academic reasons.”
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Fri
2
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Sat
3
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Book of Mormon Trip
Sun
4
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Edible Garden Workday
Stop and See The Sexperts
Graduate Student Congress Meeting (April)
Mon
5
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Tye Dye Tuesday
Use of Urban Forests to Improve Water Quality
Women of the World: Abby Wambach
Tue
6
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Stop and See The Sexperts
Free HIV Screenings
Ag Awareness Day: Horticulture Club Sale
Wed
7
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Last day for candidates for a May 2016 degree to schedule a final examination in the Graduate School
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Horticulture Club Cabin Fever Sale
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Letting Go of the Reins
Symposium of Food Systems Studies
Thu
8
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Deadline for applying for admission to the Graduate School for the 2016 Four-Week Summer Session
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Horticulture Club Cabin Fever Sale
Holi
Fri
9
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Volunteering 101
House Party
Sat
10
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sun
11
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Innovation Seminar: Sustainable Transportation
Mon
12
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Kick Butts Day
Periscope with a Bike Mechanic (morning)
Periscope with a Bike Mechanic (afternoon)
Tye Dye And Papa Johns with Fusion
Tue
13
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
4th Annual Bike to Campus Day & On-the-Spot Safety Checks
Stop and See The Sexperts
Fusion Blitz Week Service Day
Wed
14
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Get Your DIY On! Fix-It Station Demonstrations
Fusion Game Night
Tour de Downtown Art
Thu
15
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
High Elevation Archaeological Research in the Northern Wind River Range, Wyoming
Fri
16
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Donut Tour on Two Wheels
PharmD Open House
PharmD Open House
UK Spring Family Reunion
Sat
17
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sprint for Scholarships 5K
Sun
18
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Stop and See The Sexperts
Mon
19
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Creason Lecture
Tue
20
One + One
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Ping Pong Ball Drop
Wed
21
One + One
Last day for candidates for a May 2016 degree to sit for a final examination
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Wildcat Wrap-Up
Go 'Inside the Hit Factory' With Author, New Yorker Writer John Seabrook
Soup & Substance / Trending Topics
UK RSA Block Party
Thu
22
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Fri
23
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
UK Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
Sat
24
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
UK Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
Sun
25
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Mon
26
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Four-Week Intersession registration and add/drop continue for students enrolled in the 2016 Spring Semester
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Building a Rain Garden
Tue
27
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars
Wed
28
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Paws for Stress Relief
Some Intersections of Art and Science - A Public Lecture by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek
Thu
29
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Last Day of Classes
Fri
30
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Oral Cancer Awareness 5K
ARBOR DAY at The Arboretum
Sat

Repeats every day on March, April, May every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday until Sun May 22 2016 .
Sat, 04/30/2016

Sat, 04/30/2016

Repeats every day on March, April, May every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday until Sun May 22 2016 .
Sun, 05/01/2016

Mon, 05/02/2016 - Fri, 05/06/2016

Reset Page