OSUM Students Marathon Dancing To Help Fight Cancer

4 Feb , 2018  

In a little over a week, students from The Ohio State University at Mansfield will make their way to the Columbus campus to honor a friend and participate in one of the largest dance marathons in the country. For the first time, Ohio State Mansfield will be sending a team to participate in the February BuckeyeThon event.

To get a feel for the festivities, here is a video from last year’s BuckeyeThon:

Payton Baxter, a freshman fashion and retail studies student at Ohio State Mansfield, assembled a team of dedicated students to raise money for medical research and treatment. BuckeyeThon is Ohio State University’s largest student-run philanthropic event.

Donations help support the hematology, oncology and bone-marrow transplant floors at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The money raised will go to a wide variety of initiatives to help kids such as art therapy, chemotherapy treatments, cancer research, and even tutoring sessions with teachers.

A personal connection inspired Baxter to participate. “My friend, Avalon, was affected by pediatric cancer. She had leukemia and was diagnosed at 17-months-old,” she explains. “She suffers from permanent brain damage and depends on a wheelchair.”

Avalon Havan, who is now 15, endured chemotherapy treatment for 2.5 years. She has had over 22 surgeries and procedures in her lifetime, and she is one of 17 children who will be honored at the 2018 BuckeyeThon. Baxter explains, “I want to make sure children receive better treatment, do what we can to reduce the long-term side effects, and ultimately put an end to childhood cancer.” She continues, “Every child deserves better than what this horrible disease does to them, and that is why I am a part of this event.”

Baxter is looking forward to the signature event: The Dance Marathon, a 24-hour celebration full of hope and fun for the BuckeyeThon Families, team members, and supporters. Last year, around 4,000 Ohio State students participated in the event, and the event raised more than $1.5 million. So far, Baxter and her team have raised more than $500, and their goal is to raise $1,000 for the cause.

“I have been waiting a long time to be a part of this fundraiser,” Baxter says. “As an Ohio State Mansfield student, it’s great to be able to participate in events on the Ohio State Columbus campus and know that all events are open to all of the regional campus students. We are all one Buckeye nation!”

Baxter will dance alongside teammates and fellow Ohio State Mansfield classmates Nick Bauman, Brittany Brown, and Holly Damante. “Our team is really excited to honor Avalon’s fight.”

Visit to learn more about BuckeyeThon and how you can help the fight to end pediatric cancer.

Photo: Creative Commons License

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