What if one high school in America held a dance every year to raise money for people around them facing catastrophic medical hardships? I am talking about life altering things like cancer, lost hands and A.L.S; just to name a few-just to get you an idea of the battle that has become the lives of these families.
They call it the Marathon Dance and they dance for 27 hours straight. They also call it “The Greatest Dance on Earth”.
It is both these things.
Here is the magic part- This dance is run by the kids themselves and they are not messing around. They are in the business of lifting desperate people up. They are serious about bringing real changes – they are going after difficult things head on. They are not just saying that we should live better and care more……they are doing it!!!…
I will go on because I have to with this post (it is close to my heart) – These kids are not asking someone in need how they are and adding a polite….”O.K, well if there is anything I can do, just let me know”.
Please don’t do that if you are close to someone facing dark days with these life threatening issues.
Do not do that. Here is how they are: They are in a deep hole-they are suffering emotionally, they are suffering financially—-and they have cancer or A.L.S or cannot use some of their limbs. They are not good- you know it and they know it —-so please —-please—- either pick something and do it for them or leave them alone. (I am not kidding) The last thing they need or anyone in the family next to them needs is another person asking for an update. They are dealing with that 10 or 20 times a day, every day.
If the best you got is “How is your Mom or Dad, or sibling, or [fill in the blank], please tell her or him that we care”. Keep that to yourself. The kid in the house is trying to make it through a school day because he needs to finish and pass the grade. The spouse in this same family is trying to make it through a day of work so he or she can provide some money. It is that simple and that difficult.
O.K, if you are still with me….Let’s get to the good part.
These kids from South Glens Falls High School rock! They take a family and sit them on a couch; let them speak about what is going on and then figure out how to get the resources they need to them. Yes, we are talking about “paper” here. They get the whole community involved – Adults will catch this bug and return every year- Kids and parents of not just the high school but also the middle schools and the grade schools pitch in. And it spreads out from there like a tidal wave of good will. Everyone is dancing. It works on local businesses and even a senator was so moved that she had to make an appearance. This senator was not at the dance to provide help; she was there to see how an organization should be run in order to make it work correctly. Kids get together and put differences aside to all pull on the rope at once—-and mountains are moved! It is possible to flood a region with good will-I live here and I am not making this up.
My name is Wayne Law, my wife Marie was diagnosed with stage 4 renal cancer in June of last year. We are continuing the fight and are not giving up. Marie is a fighter and she will keep kicking this thing in the ass until she beats it.
I can’t tell you what it means to my wife and family to be chosen as a recipient for this dance. They lifted us up out of the pit we were sinking in. They brought us back to the community and back out into the sunlight.
We still have a big struggle ahead. That struggle is eased with the knowledge that bills can be paid. This whole process keeps adding weight and stress on you ‘till you feel like you can’t take anymore and then 800+ kids bring you to a gym and lift that burden from you by taking it and dancing it away.
Dancing is life.
I am not the same person.
My family is forever grateful for what you did for us.
Thank you Bulldogs of South Glens Falls!
21 thoughts on “Dancing is life”
I agree, no words. This is beautiful. There should be more Marathon Dances everywhere!
Thank you Susan – they lift an entire community – it is magic to be a part of.
It’s great to read this wonderful good news. I’m a little late to the scene, but I just want to thank you for and your family for sharing your story and being grateful recipients of grace. It does the heart good.
Thanks Tony…I don’t write about my family as a rule but this was too important and the intensity so extreme that I felt compelled to get it out. (If I had not been blogging for a year…I would not have been able to express myself with that clarity).Those kids pulled us out of a pit…it has renewed my faith in the power of good. It has renewed my faith in right over wrong. We go forward by putting one foot in front of the other- not by using that foot to kick ourselves or those around us. Dancing is life.
No words, yours say it all. Thank you to the community that we all could take a lesson from.
Thanks man- I often have trouble talking about it and don’t plan on writing about it anymore-so I just send people to this post. They provide light in the darkness. Simple as that.
Thanks for sharing your story. I’m proud to be a Bulldog alum – it’s stories like yours that make the connection real for those of us who aren’t in the area any more. I wish you and your family the very best.
So what if the football team has probably not won a game since you left.:) This school gets it right!!
God Bless these kids!!!!
Your family deserves to be lifted up like this, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Good kiddos being turned out in the world, they are going to go on and be a fantastic generation.
These kids have are the Lionhearts of today! There is nothing that a community that comes together can not accomplish!
Thanks and it gives you hope for the future-these kids make things happen.
Wayne…what an amazing tribute to the dance! You, Marie and the boys will forever be part of the Marathon family.
Thank you – it was a special day after many rough ones.
“We are the Bulldogs and the Bulldogs are Great!!”
You said it! You rocked the whole world with that dance!
It was an amazing site to see for the first time. I will go back every year and support this wonderful activity and show my son what he has to look forward to in the years to come! I am still overwhelmed with emotion and joy for the participants and the recipients. Best wishes to your wife and your family!!!
Thank you…I am still amazed at the awesome power of this one dance to change lives. We went from carting kids back and forth to it one year to taking the stage as recipients the next year. Never thought in a million years that it would hit us…it happens just like that and God bless them for being there.