UK students dancing for a good cause

Friday night thousands of University of Kentucky students will take to the floor of Memorial Coliseum and dance their hearts out for a good cause.

The annual DanceBlue marathon benefits pediatric cancer at the University of Kentucky Children's Hospital.

WKYT'S Amber Philpott takes a look at how all that money is making a difference.

In eight years what might look like a lot of silliness and fun has raised a serious amount of money.

The DanceBlue marathon at UK has raised nearly $4 million for pediatric cancer research and children with cancer.

The Kentucky Children's Hospital Pediatric Oncology Clinic now bears the name DanceBlue.

Students often volunteer their time at the clinic, simple chores like cleaning toys is appreciated just as much as the money raised.

"For us its just amazing to know that so many people recognize how special our kids are and that their families need extra help and support," said Dr. Sherry Bayliff.

Dr. Bayliff is one of those on the front lines helping children fight cancer, her team sees some sixty new patients a year.

Dr. Bayliff says the most common cancer is acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

As hard as Dr. Bayliff works to treat cancer, she also works to track patients after.

In 2007 the clinic began a long term follow up program, something DanceBlue helps make possible.

17- year-old Michael Ethington is one of those patients.

Ethington was diagnosed with a type of lymphoma at the age of six.

Ethington endured four months of chemo at the time.

He doesn't remember cancer, but rather his experience at UK and someone special.

"I was in the clinic one day getting treatment and probably met one of my best friends," said Michael Ethington.

His cancer is gone, Ethington is now in that follow up program.

Now he returns on a regular basis to the clinic to be checked out.

"Initially our primary concern is following up patients to ensure their cancer doesn't come back," said Dr. Bayliff.

The follow up program works to make sure Ethington doesn't face any future complications later in life because of his treatment.

One more reason Dr. Bayliff thinks all that dancing is so important each year.

Recently DanceBlue was named one of the top ten biggest college fundraisers in the country.

The event kicks off Friday night and runs 24 hours at Memorial Coliseum.

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