Former The Woodlands High School student dances for a purpose

By: Brynn Rader, Woodlands Online
| Published 03/16/2019

Photo Credit: Ted Bell
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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Cameron Hayden, a graduate of the 2017 class of The Woodlands High School, learned to dance as a senior. Dancing in both the school’s Christmas pep rally and male beauty pageant, Hayden developed a love for dance. On March 24, Hayden will take the stage in Delaware for a very different reason: dancing for children with cancer.

UDance, The University of Delaware’s largest student-run philanthropy, strives to instill hope for those affected by childhood cancer. “Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of children and teenagers,” UDance’s website reports.

Hayden moved to Delaware to attend college after graduation. 2019 marks his first year as a participant of UDance, and he’s determined to make a difference with this cause.

UDance was founded in 2007 and experiences continued growth, helping more and more children each year. An impressive total of more than $9.18 million has been raised since the inception of this charity. The funding allocated through the UDance community benefits The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, which provides critical, cutting-edge medical research and financial assistance to families across the country.

This philanthropic organization supports the ill and raises awareness year-round; however, the pinnacle event held annually in March features a 12-hour dance marathon. From 9 a.m to 9 p.m., The Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware will come alive as students and community members get down to the beat.

During the spectacular marathon event, Hayden will be busting out freestyle moves to pop and electronic tunes. “In addition to raising funds and being a regular participant at UDance, this year I will be volunteering my time as a videographer in order to document the amazing moments,” Hayden said.

A highlight of the event features the B+ Heroes themselves. “B+ Heroes are children who have been diagnosed with pediatric cancer that are ‘paired’ with organizations on campus. There are around 50 B+ Hero pairings at UD. In these pairings, college students give support and spend time with these kids while they are going through this terrible experience,” Hayden said. “On the day of UDance, the B+ Heroes have a special chunk of the day in which they get to run the stage in front of thousands of people. The B+ Heroes truly feel like superstars and have the chance to forget about hospitals, treatments, and any other burdens that come with battling pediatric cancer.”

Hayden misses The Woodlands and hopes to return one day. “The Woodlands has a great sense of community that is hard to recreate in other towns,” Hayden said.

For now, though, he stays busy with school and garnering support for UDance and the many kids it will assist. If you would like to contribute to this cause, you can donate online here. The event is fast approaching, so please submit your donation by March 20, 2019. “Also please consider asking your company if they will match your donation, as The B+ Foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization. Thank you in advance for supporting me as I dream to one day living in a world without childhood cancer,” Hayden said.

Photo Credit: Ted Bell

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