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WOW!!!!  What a busy week!

Last Saturday, our student partners at Villanova University CRUSHED it by hosting the best NOVAdance ever!  The Jake Nevin Field House was packed and everyone – students and B+ Heroes – had a great time.  And, in 2018, the NOVAdance students raised $357,279.  But this year, they increased that by a whopping 46% to raise $522,316!!!  We’re going to be able to do so much good with this.

After spending 12 hours at Villanova on Saturday, we headed to The Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware on Sunday for UDance 2019!  UDance, our largest event, attracts over 6,000 Blue Hens to the event and we have about 50 B+ Heroes – kids with cancer + their siblings – paired with sororities, fraternities, sports teams, and student groups.  What a day!  If you can believe that 12 hours can go fast, it really does when you’re having so much fun and enjoying such amazing inspiration.  My fellow Blue Hens outdid themselves by raising $2,252,081… and increase of $232,871!!!  I couldn’t be more proud of them and to all the students at all the schools, thank you very much for honoring my son, Andrew, as well!  That means SO much to us.

And, at the EXACT same time that Delaware students were holding up their numbers, our newest school – Loyola Marymount University – was holding up their “Reveal” 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles.  I am SO proud of the LMU students who worked so hard to get their inaugural B+ LMU Dance Marathon off the ground.  And, they did it so well.  The LMU students, who had a goal of $24,000 raised OVER $44,000!!!

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There was no time to rest, though, as I headed to DC bright and early Monday morning as this was our Alliance for Childhood Cancer Action Days week in the nation’s capitol. I was joined by the Marsh, Higgins, Pressley, and Gillespie families as we met with DE and MD Senators, Congressmen, Congresswoman, and their staffs.  Our main ‘asks’ were increased NIH/NCI funding, appropriation for the STAR Act, and passage of a bill called PCHETA that deals with palliative care.  Btw, everything has an acronym in DC!  😉  We had a great time and I honestly don’t think there’s ever been more traction for the fight against childhood cancer in Washington, DC than there is now.  We’ve got to keep the pressure on!

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Today being Friday means “B+ Family Assistance Program” application review day.  Today, I signed 91 checks for $65,704 that are going in today’s mail to help lessen the burden on families of kids with cancer all over the country.  Many, many families will NOT be evicted because of the money that you all raise.  Many, many families will have their power turned back on or they’ll be able to buy the medicine that the doctor says their child needs but insurance won’t cover.  There are SO many stories that would just break your heart.  We need to keep raising money so that we can help even more families and fund even more research.  Just because the students are doing so well as noted above, we can’t let up.  We need everyone to pitch in for the kids.  Thank you very much.

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In Memoriam

It truly saddens me to share that B+ Hero and University of Delaware student, Alex Scarpone, died on March 17th. Alex was 20 years old.  Ironically, I grew up 4 houses away from Alex’s Dad back in Claymont.  NEVER did I think that Mark and I would share this bond.  Alex was a great young man who will not be forgotten.  We cannot let that ever happen.  Please keep the Scarpones in your prayers.

MAKE it a great weekend.  It’s up to you.

Ali & Andrew’s Dad

www.caringbridge.org/visit/AndrewMcDonough