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‘Seeing The Impact In Real Time:’ Science LionPride Dancing In Honor Of Member’s Cancer Battle

When Science LionPride sent out its dancer application form at the beginning of the school year, it was decided that Megan von Abo and Lucas Madak would take on the 46 hours.

Unfortunately, around Thanksgiving break, Madak was diagnosed with cancer. Ava Burdell stepped up to take on Madak’s spot, and she and von Abo, along with the rest of Science LionPride in the stands, will be dancing for Madak alongside their THON child this weekend.

Burdell and von Abo emphasized the impact of seeing cancer firsthand, making THON an even more meaningful experience for them. They’ll be dancing alongside Madak in spirit, who will call in throughout the hours to cheer on his friends.

“Ever since then, it kind of became a goal for all of us to specifically be dancing for him and know that we’re supporting him and are ready for him to come back and maybe be able to dance next year,” von Abo said.

Both want to experience THON in as many aspects as possible and had dreams of dancing but never thought they would accomplish it as sophomores.

“I feel like every single time, people are like, ‘It’s an unreal experience and it’s going to change your life.’ I feel like everyone has those little moments that make them so special and they’re all different and so unique,” Burdell said. “And I think that’s why it’s so special because you are getting those little moments that no one else is seeing.”

Just as Burdell and von Abo bonded with Madak through their organization, they entered the weekend ready to experience everything and create new bonds.

With almost two days to spend with new people and high emotions during THON, barriers are broken down, and as Burdell put it, it’s a “very comfortable environment that you’re able to just be yourself.”

What Burdell and von Abo are most looking forward to most is being able to see the families they are helping in person, by showing them they are not only helping financially, but emotionally too.

Burdell is also a part of Alpha Xi Delta, which recently got a new THON child, Ava, who beat cancer in October.

“I think that, again with the Lucas story, we’re seeing the impact in real time… That is what is so impactful,” Burdell said. “Seeing the impact that THON made on that family with just basic gas money and gift cards… I’m so excited to hear all those family stories. In a committee, you get those every weekend but hearing them and seeing them actually say it is so different,” Burdell said.

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About the Author

Ashley Connington

Ashley is a sophomore studying journalism from New Jersey. She is not okay about Saquon leaving the Giants and was crying on her couch all day. She can't look at all of her Saquon merch and doesn't know when she will recover. You can email [email protected] to send her ways to meet Saquon or watch her obsess over Chelsea FC on twitter @ashconnington.

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