University Dedicates Renovated Laboratories Named for UI Dance Marathon

Last year UI Dance Marathon made a $1 million gift commitment to UI Children’s Hospital to support research into pediatric cancer and blood disorders. One year later, a state-of-the-art renovated laboratory is being dedicated to that cause.

At an April 8 dedication ceremony, students, faculty and staff gathered to dedicate the Dance Marathon Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Research Laboratories located in on the third floor of the historic Medical Laboratories building.

In April 2010, UI Dance Marathon made a two-year pledge to give $750,000 for renovation of laboratory space for research into pediatric cancer and blood disorders, and $250,000 to create a special research fund for this purpose.

“I could not be more delighted by this remarkable gift or more proud of our students. Dance Marathon is one of our most amazing student organizations," UI President Sally Mason said. "They are a national leader in student philanthropy, and their enthusiasm and success have made the lives of countless UI Children’s Hospital patients and their families better for over a decade and a half. This generous support for cancer and blood disorder research raises the impact of Dance Marathon to a whole new level.”

UI student Kyle Walters was a member of the allocations committee that made the gift decision and served as executive director of the 2011 Dance Marathon.

"Pediatric cancer affects the lives of many families and does not receive nearly enough funding for research," Walters said. "To have been able, as a student organization, to provide the resources to create a space for pediatric cancer research to be done right here at the University of Iowa was an amazing opportunity.

"One mantra of Dance Marathon is, 'When cancer is cured we will dance for joy, until then, we dance for life!' We hope this contribution will bring us one step closer to finding a cure, but until then the students of the University of Iowa Dance Marathon will continue to dance for the kids," Walters added.