UO Dance Marathon for Miracle Babies

University of Oregon students hosted a dance marathon benefit Saturday evening for the Children’s Miracle Network at Peacehealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend.

The marathon began at noon in the EMU ballroom and continued until 10 p.m. This is the 10th year that university students hosted the event. This year at least 289 students and community members participated. 

According to Robyn Bailey, a Children’s Miracle Network recipient, hundreds of babies go through the neonatal intensive care unit each year nationally.

Dominic Clark is a miracle baby who was born with half of a heart. He has had five open heart surgeries and is waiting on the transplant list. Erb Memorial Union in Eugene, Oregon. Saturday, Feb, 4, 2017. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

“They don’t realize they’re saving hundreds and hundreds of babies right now,” said Bailey. Without the Children’s Medical Network, Bailey’s twins, Emma and Lily, wouldn’t have survived.

Posters hang on the walls of the ballroom, bearing the names of children the program has connected with as well as messages from students.

“We develop relationships with all the families and learn their stories,” said UO senior Theresa Nguyen about the posters. “It’s honoring their life and their little miracles.”

The Children’s Miracle Network at Peacehealth is now affiliated with the university and is considered a part of the ASUO student program for two years.

Abby Rogers works as the liaison between the UO program and the Children’s Miracle Network at Peacehealth Sacred Heart at Riverbend. Rogers coordinates with the local families that benefit from the Children’s Miracle Network to connect them with the events. Additionally, she strives to show the students what their fundraising does for the children and families.

Roger remarks that a majority of the students attending UO have no ties to the greater Lane County area. 

“It’s a pretty powerful thing that they want to take on our local hospital as the beneficiary and invest in the community that they’re a part of.”

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Dana Sparks

Dana Sparks

Dana is a photojournalist specializing in long-format, feature stories and portraiture. She dabbles in writing and video production.

Catch her on instagram @danasparksphoto