Friday, June 22 , 2018, 4:56 pm | Partly Cloudy 66º

 
 
 
 

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Hundreds of UCSB Students Dance All Day to Benefit Cottage Children’s Medical Center

Young hospital patients join festivities as part of dance marathon organized for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Tate Geyer, 5, enjoys a moment on stage while Jane Gibson, 6, sings “Let it Go” during Saturday’s UCSB Dance Marathon for Cottage Children’s Medical Center. Click to view larger
Tate Geyer, 5, enjoys a moment on stage while Jane Gibson, 6, sings “Let it Go” during Saturday’s UCSB Dance Marathon for Cottage Children’s Medical Center. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Colton was born 15 weeks early. His twin sister was alive for an hour, before she died in her father’s arms.

The baby boy would spend the next 107 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Two years later, Colton is doing well. He spent Saturday with his parents, Pamela and Michael Vogel, and his new 20-month-old sister, Vivian, serving as inspiration to hundreds of UC Santa Barbara students who gathered at Robertson Gym for a nonstop dance affair to raise money for Cottage Children’s Medical Center.

“They did everything for us,” Pamela Vogel said of the NICU.

“They treated us like we were members of their family.”

Vivian is named after a Cottage NICU nurse.

More than 400 UCSB students participated in the annual UCSB Dance Marathon from noon to midnight Saturday. The UCSB event was one of 450 taking place at colleges and universities across the country Saturday to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The participating students spend a year learning leadership and life skills while raising funds and gathering awareness for children and families experiencing pediatric illness.

Michael Vogel and son Colton, a former patient in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cottage Children’s Medical Center, were among those attending Saturday’s UCSB Dance Marathon benefit at Robertson Gym. Click to view larger
Michael Vogel and son Colton, a former patient in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cottage Children’s Medical Center, were among those attending Saturday’s UCSB Dance Marathon benefit at Robertson Gym. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

“I love school spirit and I love UCSB,” said Lynn Padlipsky, a biology major, who danced and helped organize Saturday’s event. “It’s amazing to me that these students are out here to raise money for the hospital. The money they raise really goes to the children. They are miracle children and they are stars.”

Groups of students danced freestyle and to organized routines throughout the affair. For part of the day, families and children who have spent time at the Cottage Children’s Medical Center, hopped on stage and shared some details about their personal stories.

One girl, Jane Gibson, sang “Let It Go” to a dazzled crowd, while Tate Geyer danced enthusiastically and frequently hugged other children on stage.

Many children danced, too, some spinning Hula Hoops around their stomachs.

One of those girls was Audrina Cardenas. She had no health problems until she turned 9, and, on Christmas morning 2014 she awoke with bloodshot eyes.

During the UCSB Dance Marathon, some students showed off complex choreographed routines while others danced freestyle. Click to view larger
During the UCSB Dance Marathon, some students showed off complex choreographed routines while others danced freestyle. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Her mother, Rachele Castillo, took her to the hospital and eventually she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a digestive condition. She had two surgeries in 2015, including having part of her large intestine removed.

Audrina has one more surgery to go and Castillo says she expects her daughter to make a full recovery then.

“We love Cottage,” Castillo said. “They have helped us with everything. The nurses often text me and ask how she is doing.”

Ann Peyrat, Children’s Miracle Network gift officer, and one of the organizers of Saturday’s event, said she was happy to see such a large student turnout.

“It’s important to connect the students of today to these causes because they are the parents of tomorrow,” she said.

Peyrat said the organization hopes to raise about $20,000. Click here to make an online donation. Donations will be accepted until Feb. 28.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

More than 400 UC Santa Barbara students danced from noon to midnight Saturday to raise money for Cottage Children’s Medical Center. Click to view larger
More than 400 UC Santa Barbara students danced from noon to midnight Saturday to raise money for Cottage Children’s Medical Center. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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