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An Invincible Summer

I think often about the effect hard times have on people. I've read about the catastrophes that took place many years ago in far-off places - the ones we learn about but never quite understand. In a way, they never felt real until this year. But hard times have fallen upon us. What seemed otherworldly now lives with us every day. We have lost loved ones, been isolated from each other, and forced to live in a way that goes against human instinct.

When the luxuries of life are stripped away, what is left? When times seem good, it's easy to go about our lives as if drifting through the clouds. In hard times, though, the clouds let us fall. All of the simple matters of our daily lives are suddenly irrelevant. When they're gone, we have no choice but to reevaluate what is important - what we live for.

This year, the luxuries of raiseRED were stripped away. So much of our identity was torn from our grasp. A dance marathon without the usual marathon? In months of desperation, we sought to fill the vacancy that was left.

But I've come to realize there is no vacancy. RaiseRED has always been a mission to end a source of darkness that has plagued humanity for far too long. It has always been more than a dance marathon. It's a ceaseless movement toward a brighter future.

"He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." - Friedrich Nietzsche

In these challenging times, we know our why. Everything could be taken, but raiseRED would live on. The mission lives every day in the kids that continue to fight for a life unbound by pediatric cancer and blood disease. It lives every day in the dancers that want a better future for people they've never met. It lives every day in the unwavering drive of those that would see this plague eradicated.

So, when someone asks me what is left, I would tell them everything. As much as I love the way things were, I find solace in those around me that yearn for a better future as much as I do. I find solace in what raiseRED is beneath its luxuries. There is still a battle to be won, and raiseRED will live on until the sun rises for good.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." - Albert Camus


Austin Smith

Team Leader Coordinator

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