Hiba Pediyakal is very busy. When I meet her in a coffee shop, she has already taken over a small table in the corner. An open laptop, a quantum book, and a series of biochemistry notes cover its surface area. She explains that the last exams before finals are this week.
Pediayakal is a pre-med student studying chemistry at Boston University. Her goal is to become a pediatric oncologist after completing medical school. As any pre-med student can attest to, there is always something to be done and not a lot of time to take for oneself. In spite of this, Pediyakal has added another task to her already full plate: she is serving as a member of the outreach committee for the Boston University Dance Marathon.
The Boston University Dance Marathon, or Terrier Thon, is run under Children’s Miracle Dance Marathon, a nonprofit that raises funds for 170 hospitals that are a part of the Children’s Miracle Network. Students involved with the organization spend the year raising awareness for their pediatric hospitals and fundraising. Universities and high schools across the country participate, resulting in over 400 of these fundraisers. Terrier Thon is fundraising for Boston Children’s Hospital specifically. These efforts end with a 12-hour dance marathon in March. Pediyakal says the marathon is a celebration of everyone’s fundraising efforts and a great way to see how people’s donations are helping others.
“During the marathon, there’s a miracle hour where you get to hear a family, who the nonprofit helps, speak. I think it’s an amazing experience.”
Pediyakal is not a stranger to Dance Marathon. Although this is her first year participating with BU, she helped bring Dance Marathon back to her high school in Philadelphia. During her time as the PR and fundraising chair, she was able to see how a community was built around the shared support of one organization. When she found that Boston University was also involved with Children’s Miracle Network, she jumped at the chance to join their team.
Pediyakal encourages her fellow students to get involved. All it takes is a simple click on the Terrier Thon Instagram bio where you can choose the option to “register now.”
“You can join a committee and create your own team if you want to participate with a friend group, or just as an individual,” Pediyakal says.
After registering, you can share the provided link to your donor drive in your social media.
Pediyakal is serious about Dance Marathon because of the positive impact it can have on children affected by pediatric illness. She is able to combine her interest in health and medicine with her love of kids. She stresses the benefit of the nonprofit.
“It’s such a pure and noble cause. We get to help give these children a future.”