Hundreds of students at the University of Connecticut in Storrs stayed up over the weekend for the twentieth annual Huskython.

Their cause benefits patients at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. They give children the night away from their hospital beds and dance the night away for 18 hours.

The celebration reflects the stages children undergo when fighting a disease.

Huskython Vice President of Communications Nicole Schwartz says it’s about showing the children that they will stand on their feet and dance until all the kids get to live a happy and healthy life.

“We all wear these hospital bands throughout the night… the kids all come around, we make a big circle…and they cut off the hospital bands,” Schwartz said. “It’s like signifying that we will be here until there is no more childhood illness.”

Huskython’s mission hits very close to home for some participants. UConn freshman Aidan Gaffney knows the battle these children endure.

“One of my dearest friends had cancer and just got over it a few months ago,” Gaffney said. “It’s so moving to see these kids so happy here.”

Though 18 hours of being on your feet may be exhausting, UConn students say it’s worth it.

“It’s obviously hard for people to stay up for 18 hours,” UConn senior Bobby Butler said. “We’re there to be their backbone and get them up when they’re feeling tired or down.”

Huskython culminates a year of fundraising. Last year, participants raised a million dollars. This year, they beat that record, raising nearly $1,328,000.

UConn students hope to exceed this year’s total next year. If you’d like to contribute to Huskython, visit Huskython.org.

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