First Annual RamTHON is This Saturday!

RamTHON Full Color-01-01

Get ready to celebrate with 12 hours of dancing and fun! On Feb. 27, Virginia Commonwealth University will host its first annual RamTHON in the Commonwealth Ballroom, University Student Commons from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. This all-day event will help raise funds that will be given directly to the Children’s Hospital of Richmond (CHOR).

So, what exactly is RamTHON and why should you be excited?

RamTHON is a part of the Miracle Network Dance Marathon movement that includes over 500 universities and high schools. This is the first year that VCU will be participating and already RamTHON is beginning to create a lasting impression for all those involved.  

All year, several VCU organizations and RamTHON organizers have been hard at work, selling everything from coffee to t-shirts, fundraising money. This Saturday is a celebration of everyone’s labor. For 12 hours, RamTHON participants will enjoy activities including dancing, games, performances and interaction with children who will benefit from the proceeds. Performances will include five DJs, Ramifications, Gold Rush and the Richmond Raiders Dance Team. Sponsors of RamTHON are Applebees, TGI Fridays, Panda, Costco and Walmart.

VCU’s RamTHON will feature seven Miracle Families*, which are families with children that have been helped by the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (CMNH), who will share their stories throughout the event. This is a touching opportunity to see how RamTHON participants are making a real difference in the Richmond community.

Lunch, dinner and snacks are included for teams that sign up, which can happen until 8 a.m. the morning of the event! If interested, please go to the RamTHON registration website.

Also, check out their Facebook page for regular updates on the event.

Questions? Contact Sanica Bendre at  

RamTHON Exec

*RamTHON Miracle Families 2016Blake

Blake Hassmer

Age: 3

Diagnosis: Severe acid reflux; delayed gastric emptying

Story: Blake currently sees 13 specialists, a physical therapist and a feeding therapist at CHoR. He actually has 16 different diagnoses and is fed through a G-tube to ensure he maintains his weight and caloric intake. Blake may have extremely complex medical needs but he doesn’t let it slow him down. His mom says he’s always full of energy and ready to go!

Dylan Lipton-Lessor

Age: 4

Diagnosis: Hydrocephalus (excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain)

Story: Dylan spent 71 days in the NICU at CHoR and has had over 20 brain surgeries to address problems caused by a dangerous bacterial infection.Dylan

Fun Facts:

 Dylan weighed three pounds and three ounces at birth

Today Dylan is learning to stand, walk and speak, and thanks to his new hearing aids, he enjoys playing the piano, listening to music and laughing. He also loves playing with his cars and cuddling with his Great Dane, Charlton.

Dylan CHoR Commercial Link:


Matthew McMillan

Age: 14 Matthew

Diagnosis: Autism

Story:  Matthew was born with a heart defect so rare that less than 1% of children born with heart complications will suffer from it. At seven hours old, he was taken from the hospital where his mother gave birth, rushed to CHoR and quickly admitted to undergo nine hours of open heart surgery. As time progressed and medical appointments were met, Matthew’s caregivers began to wonder if his complications at birth were really the end of his extreme healthcare needs. Over the next few years Matthew would endure many issues with sensory disorders, receive a diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism and a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. Since then, Matthew has received numerous therapies at CHoR, including speech, occupational and physical therapy.

Fun Facts:

– Matthew attended the Randolph-Macon Dance Marathon on his first birthday!

Matthew is a big NASCAR fan

Kyla Roerty

Age: 13

Diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy

Story: Kyla has been a patient at CHoR since 2003 when she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at just 15 months old. As an infant, she experienced extreme difficulties in crawling, walking and standing. Through CHoR’s network of doctors, Kyla’s family pursued an extremely aggressive treatment regimen, including Kylaa spinal surgery in 2004. As a result of this surgery, coupled with weekly physical therapy sessions at CHoR, the severity of her illness was greatly reduced. In the fall of 2011, Kyla had an additional surgery to address challenges with her muscles and tendons not properly stretching to keep up with her bone growth. Kyla’s recovery took place over 12 weeks with the goal that she would resume unassisted walking by the early part of 2012. Amazingly, within a year of her surgery, she ran a 5K.

Today, Kyla continues to attend weekly physical therapy sessions at CHoR to help manage her cerebral palsy and is rarely seen without a smile on her face. Therapy has helped Kyla develop many skills over the years, like riding a bike and jumping rope.

Fun Facts:

– She stays very active by doing things she loves like archery, taking drama classes at school, playing softball, snowboarding and surfing

Anna Wilkinson

Age: 9

Diagnosis: Brain TumorAnna

Story: In the fall of 2013, at age 7, Anna was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Anna had been complaining of some abnormal symptoms and her mom, Cynthia, just knew something wasn’t right. Anna received radiation and chemotherapy at CHoR. She likes to remember the fun things she did in the clinic – especially music therapy. In May 2014, Anna received a clear scan and is now cancer free.

After missing most of second grade, Anna worked extremely hard last year in third grade, making all A’s by the end of the year. This past summer, Anna really focused on having fun – going to overnight camp, attending drama camp, swimming, spending time at the beach, hosting an Anthem LemonAid stand and going to Grandma’s.

Miss Anna is now in fourth grade and just celebrated her ninth birthday!

Grayson Dutton

Age: 4

Diagnosis: CancerGrayson

Story: Diagnosed with a six inch tumor in his abdomen at just nine months of age, Grayson underwent chemotherapy for an entire year, finishing in September 2012, just before his second birthday. Grayson was in remission for two years until another tumor was discovered in his abdomen in the fall of 2014. Grayson underwent chemotherapy treatment for a second time, which was completed in September 2015. All the while, he was no stranger to the community around him while receiving treatment at CHoR. Whether it was a nurse recognizing him in the cafeteria or a security guard nicknaming him “Scooter Boy” as he pedaled down the hallway, Grayson’s mom says everyone at CHoR is Grayson’s friend.

Fun Facts:

He loves baseball, spaghetti and trains.

Santiago BelmonteSantiago

Age: 3

Diagnosis:  Premature Birth

Story:  Santiago was born at 24 weeks and two days in March 2012. He spent 161 days in the NICU. Today he’s doing really well and right on track for developmental milestones.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s