Nurses from University Hospital participate in dancing at the FTK event.

Nurses from University Hospital participate in dancing at the FTK event. Leonardo Garcia/The Paisano

For The Kids’ (FTK) annual 12-hour dance marathon on April 6 in the Convocation Center included the announcement that the organization raised $32,715.04 this year. FTK, a UTSA student organization and nonprofit which hosts events throughout the year aims to raise money, provide emotional support while raising awareness for pediatric cancer.

The events, such as a dodgeball tournament and fashion show, not only raise money, but also entertain sick children and show them support.

The dance marathon started with the song “Tunnel of Love,” followed by “The Star Spangled Banner” and concluded with the grand reveal of total donations. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., volunteers danced as they fundraised for the final time this school year.

At this event alone, FTK raised $13,305 with the help of 215 donors. All of the proceeds will go to the children and families at University Hospital who need financial help with medical bills, food, gas, transportation and other finances. Volunteers pledged to stand for 12 hours at this event to show families that since cancer never rests, they will not either.

Families struggling with pediatric cancer watched as students from UTSA and medical professionals from University Hospital danced and stood in support of them.

“I find [it] truly inspirational to see many of the kids who are warriors go up on stage and dance on their talent show and tell their personal stories,” Leonardo Garcia, sophomore communications major and FTK family relations branch member, explains. “Their journey is not easy and that makes them stronger. Every kid that has gone through this is my hero; they taught me love, strength and pain. That is why I will always help the kids in any way that I can. I also invite everyone to come with me and help these families through our journey in life.”

FTK considers this event to be a success.

“This has never happened before, we needed extra tables for the families arriving. Many people did not believe in us and I am proud of the team [and] of what we were able to accomplish this year,” Garcia said.

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