Student finds passion for PUDM in honor of former house member’s battle with cancer

Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication

Purdue University Dance Marathon’s purpose is to raise money and awareness for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. PUDM is one of the top fundraising Dance Marathons in the country, bringing Purdue recognition on a national stage. It says a lot about the university when a group of college students on Purdue’s campus, from all different backgrounds, come together to raise over $1 million annually.

Lucas Moore (Sophomore; Agribusiness Management; Ligonier, IN) is a committee member on the Riley Relations Committee. His main responsibility in this position is to interact with his paired Riley family. Throughout the year, members are able to form relationships with their families, guide them through the 18-hour Dance Marathon and other events that PUDM organizes, and make sure they all feel like rock stars. The most interesting thing Lucas has learned this far is the big impact that PUDM has on the lives of all the families they interact with. “We all feel grateful to know them and hear their stories, and you can see in the faces of our Riley kids just how meaningful the experience is to them as well.”

The 2017 Dance Marathon is Lucas’ most special memory so far with PUDM. Lucas is a member of FarmHouse Fraternity, and every year his brothers shave their heads as part of the event. This is done in honor of John Romine, a member of FarmHouse who passed away in 2008 after a hard-fought battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. “My pledge class and I all planned to shave our heads, and I asked my buddy, Noah, if he would shave mine. When he finished, and I was totally bald, he asked if I would shave his head, too.” Lucas said that this inspired a couple others to do the same, for John and those still fighting their battles. 

Lucas is looking forward to the next Purdue University Dance Marathon and hopes that the committees can surpass last year’s total donation. He encourages anyone to get involved if they feel like they would enjoy raising awareness for childhood cancer and building relationships with those children. 

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