Mike and Marci McCauley saw their life change after their daughter Cierra was diagnosed with cancer in 2012.
With their daughter cancer-free for the past four years, the Elizabethtown family embraces a positive outlook on life.
Cierra, now 11 and an avid dancer, continued to perform even as she went through six months of chemotherapy at Riley Children’s Hospital in indianapolis in her battle against Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The fifth-grader is working to make a positive impact by helping raise money for pediatric research as part of an effort with the children’s hospital.
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She launched a dance challenge in September, Dancer Beating Cancer, that asks people to record themselves dancing and post it on social media using the hashtag #DancerBeatingCancer. People who create a video are asked to tag others and donate to help fund pediatric research at Riley.
The campaign, which has raised about $5,000, continues to grow in popularity and has a goal of reaching $100,000, Marci McCauley said.
For every $1 that is raised, $12 in federal grant money will go to Riley.
“We’re here to raise awareness and to raise money,” she said. “Our mission in life is to give back to Riley and the community that helped us.”
There’s plenty of support behind the effort so far.
Cory Lingner, a performer on Broadway’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” is among those who have made a video.
“Things are definitely picking up,” Marci McCauley said. “It has spread to other states very quickly.”
Cierra said she enjoys seeing people come together for a good cause and watching the different videos that have been created across the country.
“It’s for a really good cause,” she said.
Mike McCauley said the family’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness on a national level and hopes to appear on shows such as “Good Morning America” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
“Riley Hospital is championing this with us … and they’re definitely all in and supporting the cause,” he said.
Marci McCauley said she is thankful for the support her family received from individuals around them during their daughter’s battle against cancer.
“That really made a difference to help us when we were going through a crisis,” she said. “It’s our faith and family that gave us the strength that we needed.”
Mike and Marci McCauley live in Elizabethtown with their 11-year-old daughter Cierra, who attends Rockcreek Elementary School as a fifth-grade student. Mike McCauley works in security at Columbus Regional Health, while his Marci McCauley is a loan officer at Farm Credit. The McCauleys also raise thoroughbred horses.