If you were given the option of doing whatever you wanted for one day, how would you want to spend those twenty-four hours? For an especially enthusiastic group of students the answer was simple. From 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 18 until 10 a.m. on Sunday, February 19, UGA Miracle hosted their annual Dance Marathon. For twenty-four hours the Tate Center was full of students who were standing, dancing and raising money all to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. With over 3,000 registered participants this year, UGA Miracle was able to raise over $1.3 million!! However, ask any individual who participated in Dance Marathon what the event meant to them, and they will be quick to tell you that UGA Miracle is bigger than just the amount of money received each year.
The heart of this organization is reflected so well in sophomore Alpha Delta Pi, Caroline Tally. Dance Marathon 2017 was Caroline’s second year serving as a Fam Pal on the Family Relations Committee, which offers love and support families receiving treatment at Children’s Healthcare. As a freshman Caroline was paired with the Gossling Family. Grant, the Gossling Family’s fourth child of their five children, passed away on March 28, 2016 at the age of four from Neuroblastoma, only a few weeks after a joyful day at Dance Marathon 2016.
This year after standing on her feet for the entire twenty-four hour period in honor of Grant, Caroline said, “He is my inspiration. I could go on for days about the impact Grant Gossling has had on my life, but I will tell the three most important things he taught me. Number one: Find joy in the face of the biggest, scariest things. Number two: Anything can be achieved with the ones you love. Number three: Your ripple is big, even if you sometimes feel small.” Though he is missed wholeheartedly every single day, experiences like this are what make Miracle’s cause so incredibly important. Because of UGA Miracle, Caroline’s story is just one of the hundreds among students who are passionate for the future of kids just like Grant!