Choose Change

Written By: Hope Hathcock

Every choice you have made in your entire life has led you to exactly where you are in this second, reading these words.

Choices have the capacity to lead you down a new path, yet they also have the power to unite you with the overlapping journeys of others. How hopeful is it that you are connected to a community of individuals who all chose to attend the University of Florida and chose to join the family that is Dance Marathon at the University of Florida? This organization is asking you to make one more choice together: Choose Change.

Life can change in an instant. With one hospital visit, one scan and one diagnosis, an entire family’s everyday life changes. Normal changes.

However, we at DM at UF possess the gift of change, for we have the ability to alter someone’s life for the better. The power of passionate, positive change should not be underestimated nor taken for granted.

Do not hesitate or put your plans off for another day because Kids Can’t Wait. Every minute that passes by is one we can’t get back. Every minute, 62 children enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Every minute, we have the potential to change 62 lives. But we have to choose to act. We have to make the decision to put ourselves, our free time and our distractions second, and put these children first.

In the end, the Netflix episode you binge-watched won’t matter. You won’t remember that time you took a nap on the couch. Nothing will come from the hours you spent scrolling on social media. 

We create a ripple effect of transformation when we choose to act for a cause bigger than ourselves. These outcomes stretch beyond our years in college. You may never know what will come of the $20 bill a kind stranger dropped into your fundraising bucket. But its potential is endless, and there is beauty in the infinite possibilities that come from you choosing to devote your time and attention to the smallest of patients sitting in a hospital room at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. 

What will change from a choice you make? It’s impossible to know precisely.

But what can change from the choice to dedicate yourself to DM at UF? Everything.