Horne family values continued support from Dance Marathon

After eight years of coming to Dance Marathon, the Horne family continues to value the support and family atmosphere.


Michael Guhin

The Horne Family is seen after leaving the main ballroom. This is their eighth year and eighth time being at Dance Marathon. The walked on stage during Dance Marathon 25 at the Iowa Memorial Union on Friday Feb 1, 2019 (Michael Guhin/The Daily Iowan)

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

At the age of 7, Josh Horne was diagnosed with leukemia, beginning his family’s eight year involvement with Dance Marathon. After Josh was diagnosed, the Horne family became impacted by the charity DM provides, and “it’s changed our lives since then,” Josh said.

Through the years of their involvement, the Horne family has felt the support, comradery, and family environment of the organization, Josh and his parents, Jeff and Julie Horne, said. DM has provided a surrounding feeling of love during the difficult times his family has experienced, Josh said. The love and support reminds families of the happier times in their lives.

It’s important to show others that there is support for them through all they’re going through, Josh said. DM is a good example of continuous support from people who care, he said.

“There’s a lot of people there for you that you may not necessarily know or meet yet,” Josh said. “They care for you even if you don’t know them. They want to see you … do well.”

Since the Horne family has been involved with DM for so long, they have gotten to know many dancers over the years. Many of those dancers have already graduated, Julie said. One dancer who was close with the Horne family is Brock Cavett, UIDM Advisor.

DM helps families get through the hard times and get to the other, brighter side of their situation, Jeff said.

Families with children going through treatment at the children’s hospital should remember there’s hope, Julie said; they should remember to hold on through everything.

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Coming to the Big Event each year reminds his family of the support DM provides, Jeff said. The experience has helped the family through the difficulties of having a child in the hospital.

After hearing the family stories, freshman dancer Audi Zapf said she can relate to how they feel through having a brother currently going through treatment at the children’s hospital. It’s reassuring to know other people are going through similar experiences to her and knowing other people are with her, she said.

Getting to see the different personalities of each child during the family entrances allows everyone to see them outside their cancer, freshman Deserai Weber said.

“I think it was so inspiring to see the people, even just the first years, how excited they were. You can tell even the people who came the most, 25 or 27 years, they’re just as excited,” Weber said.

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Watching the children enjoying themselves here and have a happy experience helps her know she is making a difference, Zapf said.

“As a parent, it makes me feel good just knowing that there’s all that support for him, and we appreciate everything that was done for our family back when he was going through treatment,” Jeff said.

Their experience with DM has been amazing, Julie said. What the organization does for the families and being a student-run event amazes her, she said.

“What they do just blows my mind all the time,” Julie said. “I don’t know that if we could have gotten through our journey without Dance Marathon.”