Stepping up for kids with cancer

Dancing for the Kids took place on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 at the Akron Civic Theatre. The event, which was presented by the Emerging Leaders of Akron Children’s Hospital, benefited the hospital’s Shower Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Dr. Jeffrey Hord, director of hematology-oncology at Akron Children’s, is one of nine dancers who participated in the event, along with students from The University of Akron. Below is Dr. Hord’s account of his experience.

Dr. Hord rehearses for Dancing for the Kids event.

Dr. Hord rehearses for Dancing for the Kids event.

With only days to go before Dancing for the Kids on Oct. 25, the excitement and nervousness are building. I met with my instructor, Arielle, and tried to smooth out some of the rough spots in our routine.

I trust her expert opinion, and she thinks we are doing well. We only have two more rehearsals left before the show. I hope it is enough!

Arielle came up with the idea for our routine based upon our mutual fondness of Broadway show tunes.  Without giving away the secrets of our performance, it’s a fun dance and the energy builds up throughout the song.

There’s a story we portray that helps me remember what I’m supposed to be doing during the routine (most of the time). The props are rather simple, and thank goodness the costumes don’t involve spandex or sequins.

Dr. Hord

Dr. Hord

Arielle has made this a great experience so far by providing clear direction while being very patient with me. I think she is afraid if she pushes me too far I will pull or strain something. After turning 50 earlier in the year, I thought volunteering to dance would make me feel younger. After working with someone so young and energetic, I’m not feeling very young.

Dancing is something out of my comfort zone, but I just think about how my embarrassment is nothing compared to the difficult things our patients face with grace and courage every day. Admittedly, looking so silly and confused has been a humbling experience.

It is really fun watching the total of online donations increase every day. After sending out a ton of email and Facebook messages, I was thrilled to meet my online goal about two weeks before the event.

My friends, associates, and fellow Showers Center team members have been so generous. However, I continue to plead for others to donate as I know I will need a total much higher than my online goal to win. More importantly, I know how much the funds are needed to support patients and families as they move through unimaginable journeys fighting for their very lives.

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