Every one joined hands and tightly squeezed them in anticipation, knees were shaky and hearts were beating faster and faster. There is nothing like physically seeing a year of hard work pay-off in a matter of seconds.  The large block letters were raised high in the air to spell out S O O N E R T H O N and slowly but surely they dropped to reveal the total amount raised by OU’s campus.

When I first arrived on campus it was a whirlwind of opportunity. I wanted to experience a little bit of everything to find a place that I could call home. I had heard of Soonerthon through casual conversation, posts on social media and friends who had previously been involved, but being a freshman I still didn’t fully understand what it was.  I heard the tagline, “FTK, For The Kids” and knew it was something that I had to get involved because of my love for mentorship and working with younger kids. Soonerthon is a 12-hour dance marathon and is also known as OU’s official philanthropy. The money raised through this organization benefits Oklahoma’s children through the Children’s Hospital Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I was Team Captain for another organization and with that title came the responsibility of being paired with a Miracle Family from the hospital. My job was to introduce them to my organization, host a couple events with them and show them what the Sooner family is all about.  This is where I found my “why” and it was all because of Maddison, a 12-year old inspiration.

Before meeting her, I learned that she has Tetralogy of Fallot, which consists of four major defects within her heart and severe defects which affect her lungs, causing pulmonary hypertension. I would have never guessed anything was wrong with her because she was still spunky, sweet and had a contagious joy that shined to those around her. But eventually I learned of all the procedures that are still unable to relieve the high pressures in her lungs, and how eventually she will have to undergo a heart and lung transplant to prolong her life. Getting to know Maddison was the highlight of my freshman year and continues to be every year. She taught me a lot more than I could ever put into words and more than I could ever thank her for. From a couple chords on the guitar all the way to how important it is to live abundantly and love unconditionally. She has now become one of my best friends, role models, and a girl I can always rely on to enjoy Starbucks with. She has sparked my passion for CAC Soonerthon and has deepened my love for this cause. From Team Captain, to working on Family Relations Executive Committee, to now being Vice Chair of Relations; she is the reason why I have fallen in love with this cause.

But CAC Soonerthon is more than just an organization, it is a way to celebrate life and celebrate those around. It is about the miracle families who come for a part of those twelve hours to be showered with love from the Soonerthon family and forget, even if it’s for a couple of hours, that they are not different from any other child.

The letters of Soonerthon slowly drop to reveal the number $5 6 1 , 2 6 8 . 15.     We stand 12 hours to honor the nurses and doctors who stand on their feet for 12 hours during a shift. We stand 12 hours to represent the 12 months we spend fundraising. We stand for the kids who can’t. I stand for Maddison because that means that she can be treated right in Oklahoma close to her family and home. CAC Soonerthon became my home because of miracle children like Maddison and because the University of Oklahoma continually redefines what the Sooner family is and what it is able to accomplish.


Christina Newcomb

Reno, Nevada

Advertising/ Human Relations


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