My Favorite Heroes: Dance Marathon

Foundation Ambassador Florida Mwesiga in New York City.


Last year, 15-year-old Foundation Ambassador Florida Mwesiga had the opportunity to attend the Columbia University Dance Marathon benefiting the Foundation. In advance of this year’s Dance Marathon season, Florida recounts her experience and shares why she loves participating.

Last year, I had the awesome experience of attending the Columbia University Dance Marathon benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. It was absolutely phenomenal. I loved how everyone had so much great energy towards the purpose, and there was so much positive motivation for people to dance for 28 hours, which was heartwarming. What I see in Dance Marathon is a very powerful representation of the red ribbon, showing how people – not just those infected by this disease– can work together to fight against HIV/AIDS, and stand up for what’s right in a positive way. I think it’s important for students to do Dance Marathon because they can be a part of a historical event that brings people together, and make a difference by saving or protecting someone’s life. One day, when they find a cure for HIV/AIDS, students will be able to say that they were one of the voices helping to prevent this disease. That makes them heroes.

I found out about Dance Marathon from my mother, Fortunata Kasege. She motivated me by the way she handled her positive HIV status, and how it made her an even stronger person. She knows that no matter what anyone thinks or says, she was and still is doing the right thing by being a voice and an extraordinary motivator. I am gladly planning to attend upcoming Dance Marathons in the future, and hoping that when I get to college, I will be one of the chairs for a Dance Marathon at the university I hope to attend. I would like to thank the students on behalf of the Foundation, and all of us affected by HIV. The dedication and contributions students put into Dance Marathon each year make them not only my role models, but my favorite heroes.