Family shares how dance marathon helped them as son battled cancer
By Jacqueline Quynh, Multimedia Journalist - email
Colton Barker watching football with his dad.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Dancing for 6 or even 24 hours may sound like hard work, but for some cancer patients the fight is around the clock, and sometimes for months or years.
KTIV talked with one Siouxland family who told us the event has helped their 5-year-old battle cancer.
"Shock is the only word to describe it," Stacia Barker said.
Stacia Barker's son was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer when he was toddler.
"As a result Colton lost his right eye," Barker said.
Now he's in remission and grown into a big Hawkeye Football fan.
"I watch it a lot with my mom and dad," Colton Barker said.
Colton's mother describes the 9 months her son was receiving treatment as long and emotionally hard. She says one of the few things to bring the family some happiness was the University of Iowa's dance marathon and its volunteers, in Iowa City.
"At the hospital itself, you see the floor covered in colored tile, and you see new games and activities,"
Those were all things money raised from the university's event and volunteers made possible.
"That's what makes kids have a positive attitude," Colton's mother said.
"Last year I breaked dance," Colton Barker said.
The program also partnered up some volunteers with patients for support. Colton still remembers a few of them.
"Megan, Caitlin, sometimes Lauren comes," Colton Barker said.
Lauren still has a special place in their family's heart.
"She now lives in Colorado and we miss her very much, but she was with Colton everyday, in the hospital, called us, weekly monthly, sent cards so we really get attached to a lot of these students." Barker said.
Colton celebrates 4 years of being in remission this year.
"Everyday we're thankful that Colton is with us today," Stacia Barker said.
And looking back the Barkers are also thankful for their support network, especially the people from the University of Iowa's Dance Marathon.
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