Meet Hudson Frame!

Today’s blog post is a very special one, in honor of one of our very own incredible Miracle kids, Hudson Frame! This cutie recently turned 6 and just started kindergarten! Hudson was born on August 24th, 2013 with a heart condition called Tricuspid Atresia. What this means is that one of the valves between two of his heart chambers wasn’t formed and instead, had solid tissue between the chambers. At three-weeks old Hudson underwent his first open-heart surgery and had a small Gore-Tex tubing put into his heart in order to get more oxygenated blood to his lungs. Following that surgery was a procedure called a balloon septostomy where the doctors went in through his groin, up to his heart and opened up the hole in his heart, making it wider to increase the blood flow. This shunt lasted until Hudson was around 6 & ½ months old and his heart started to fail again. His next surgery was called the bidirectional Glenn. They once again opened Hudson up and removed the Gore-Tex tubing. This procedure involved rerouting circulation so that the superior vena cava (SVC) drained into the right pulmonary artery. Hudson did great during this surgery and is now awaiting his last surgery called the Fontan, the largest of his three surgeries. The Fontan requires him to be a little bit bigger in addition to signs of heart failure again. The ultimate goal of this whole process is to separate Hudson’s red blood and blue blood because it’s mixing where it’s not supposed to. Until then, Hudson takes medicine every day and has cardiologist appointments every 6 months. Despite dealing with all these challenges with his heart, Hudson truly is the sweetest little kid and has such a big, loving heart. He is kind and welcoming to everyone he meets and absolutely loves his family and his dog Henry. Hudson loves to play baseball and is obsessed with superheroes, especially Iron Man. He also loves Ninja Turtles, Leonardo being his favorite, and the Grinch as well. He’s a great role model to his younger brother Cason, and truly is such a light in the lives of his friends and family. He’s making the best of a tough situation and living his life as normally as he can, just being an awesome, fun-loving kid and showing the world who’s boss. Hudson, you sincerely inspire me and so many others with your strength, resilience, kindness, and spirit. Stay rad kiddo. 

An Insider's Guide to UGA: 8 Tips to Have the Best Freshman Year

Ah college, one of life’s most exciting, but lowkey nerve wracking milestones. New friends, new classes, new social life, new meal plan…all awesome stuff. I remember my freshman year vividly, probably because it only ended a few months ago. It was a year filled with game days, nights spent studying, nights out, and a whole lot of self discovery. I also remember feeling a bit overwhelmed when trying to navigate these new  experiences and changes. There are a lot of things I wish I would have known before freshman year which I had to figure out on my own, usually the hard way. With those things in mind, here are 8 tips to have an amazing freshman year (or any other year) and make the transition to college as smooth and seamless as possible!

1. Learn how to use the bus system. 

Oh boy, this tip is a big one. As you may have already noticed, UGA’s campus is huge. While walking is great and all, it can also take a really long time, not to mention that this August heat is just sweltering. On my first day of class freshman year, I frantically made the trek from SLC to MLC and I was very hot, sweaty, and stressed by the time I made it to my class. To make your life easier, spend the extra couple minutes figuring out how to understand the bus schedule on the UGA app. Trust me, it’s worth it. 

2. Find an organizational method that works for you. 

I was pretty organized in high school, but for whatever reason when I got to college I found myself randomly forgetting or misreading things a lot more than usual. I even missed an advising appointment… yikes. Nowadays, I like to use Google Calendar to plan out my days and then complete to-do list items during the periods where nothing like class or meetings are scheduled. I’ve used a paper planner in the past, but I’ve found that this system works better for me in college, especially when things are frequently subject to change. Whether you had a planner or something similar in high school, finding some way to get organized in college is crucial.

3.  Make staying healthy easy.

It can be difficult to keep a consistent workout schedule and eat healthy in college. Not only can it take forever to get to Ramsey and back, but there’s also the temptation of free unlimited ice cream at every dining hall! My advice for staying healthy and avoiding the dreaded ‘freshman 15’ is to make it a point to eat a few healthy things every day. During my freshman year I would try to eat at least one fruit at breakfast, and one vegetable at lunch and dinner. Make it to the gym when you can, but most importantly try to walk everywhere. Not only will you be creating a habit of being active, you’ll also probably get the best legs of your life just by getting where you need to go. Another pro tip—since it’s the beginning of the semester, it may be beneficial to start taking Vitamin C supplements now and building up your immunity before the freshman plague hits. During this dreaded time, literally everyone and their mother gets sick seeing that between the dorms and the dining halls and classes, there’s not a lot of personal space in college. Overall, the most important thing is consistency. Form positive routines at the beginning of the semester and you’ll be set.

4. Make UGA feel like home!

Being that UGA is a state school, I know that a lot of you are probably from GA. With that being said, I highly encourage you to avoid going home for the first few weeks to a month. Doing this forced me to explore campus and Athens more and helped me feel at home here. Being comfortable in your environment is so important, but in order to get to that point you need to make a conscious effort to make it happen. 

5. Go to the Niche!!!

If you ask any upperclassman what the best dining hall at UGA is, they’ll most likely tell you that it’s the Niche. Although it can be a bit of a pain to get there, either by driving or the Health Sciences bus, it is so so worth it. From custom sandwiches, pizza and calzones, to different varieties of pastas, salads, and desserts, it is absolute chef’s kiss. I think in general UGA has way better dining halls than a lot of other colleges, but the Niche is next level. Please do yourself a favor and go as much as possible while you still have an unlimited meal plan. 

6. Take risks!

In many ways, college is a fresh start for a lot of people and this can mean opening doors that you may not have previously considered. Try anything and everything that sparks your interest. Be friendly and open with people and see what types of people begin to enter your circle. Say yes to as many things as possible (within reason) because you’re only going to be a freshman in college once and this is your time to explore and be picky. Also remember that it is okay if you don’t continue with every club, class, or major you signed up for. It’s okay if your friends at the beginning of the year are different than your friends at the end of the year. It’s okay if you change and feel different. Whatever your path may be, do what you need to do to explore new options and come into yourself. 

7. S.T.U.D.Y. 

Look I get it. College is a lot of fun. You’re meeting lots of new people and suddenly everything is social and you want to experience that. At the end of the day though, the heart of college is education and as much as it sucks, grades do matter. It’s okay if they’re not perfect though. I was nearly a straight-A student throughout high school and got my first C during first semester of freshman year. While it was a huge blow to my ego and took a hit to my GPA, it was not the end of the world and I recovered. Just be aware that college classes can be harder than high school classes and it may take some time to adjust your study strategies while also adjusting to a brand new environment. Try your best and work smarter, not just harder, and you’ll be just fine. 

8. Remember that everyone is in the same boat.

If you find yourself feeling confused, lonely, anxious, stressed, scared, or lost, please remember you are definitely not alone in that. No matter how put together, assured, or confident everyone around you may seem, everyone has their own things that they struggle with. College is a really uncertain time period for so many people which can lead to a lot of discomfort. I really, really struggled with choosing a major and changed it  6 different times, and this caused a ton of inner turmoil. I also underestimated some of the difficulties of adjusting to being away from home and felt a lot of uneasiness about it. Despite any negative feelings that arise, know that what you are going through is totally normal. The best thing to do is just get comfortable with being uncomfortable and let things slowly fall into place with time. 

Whether you experience any bumps in the road or not, remember that UGA accepted you for a reason. You do belong here, you are smart enough, you are good enough, you are worthy enough. I really hope that these tips were helpful and in some way enhance your college experience. Amazing things are in store for you during your freshman year and the rest of your time here at UGA and I wish you the best of luck! GO DAWGS!

Dance Marathon 2019 Packing List

Dance marathon is now only two days away and we can not contain our excitement! When packing for 24-hours in Tate grand hall, keep in mind these Dance Marathon necessities:.

  • A Second Pair of Shoes - this is especially important if you are planning on taking the 24 hour standing challenge! Just one pair will not get you through this 24 hours, so be sure to bring your two (or even three) comfortable sneakers so you can switch off.

  • Phone charger / portable charger- We advise you to soak up the amazing experience of Dance Marathon by not being invested in your phone taking too many videos and photos, but you will not want it to die! Phones do not last 24 hours, so bring a charger, portable charger, and maybe even a backup portable charger. You will want to document the incredible 24-hour experience.

  • Water bottle- Hydration is key! Dancing for 24 hours can be exhausting, and you do not want to become fatigued, so bring a portable water bottle and make sure you are drinking from it!

  • Cash/Credit Card/Venmo Account - You will be able to purchase food, drinks, merchandise and more at the event! Bring some method of payment whether its cash, a credit card or just the login to your venmo account.

  • Toiletries- toothpaste, toothbrush, DEODORANT, facewash, lotion, dry shampoo, makeup wipes, chapstick, etc. This is a necessity! Dancing for 24 hours with 2,000 of your closest friends without a shower can lead to some funky smelling people, so deodorant is a must. When you start to get tired or start to feel gross, washing your face and brushing your teeth can make you feel like a new person.

  • Change of clothes- Tank tops, shorts, t-shirts, jackets, all of the above! You will not want to be in the same clothes for 24 hours+ so prepare accordingly.

  • Color group accessories- Go all out for your color group! Bring colored beads, body paint and other fun accessories to represent your color group!

  • SOCKS-  The absolute MVPs of Dance Marathon. Bring way more socks then you think you’re going to need, it’s almost guaranteed you’re going to use all of them.

  • Fanny Pack- The tacky tourist worst accessory is your best asset for Dance Marathon. It’s the perfect place for your phone, snacks, charger, and everything else you may need for the event.

  • Snacks- There will be six meals and opportunities to buy food/drinks at the fundraising station but it's important to bring extra to keep your strength up!

  • A long night’s sleep- bring this with you in the morning!! You need at least 8 hours of sleep Friday night going into this marathon. We want 2,000+ bright eyed and bushy tailed people ready to embark on the best 24 hours they will ever experience so get some sleep Friday night and get excited for DM!

While we’re on the subject, here’s what not to bring to Dance Marathon:

  • Chalk

  • Balloons

  • Boas/Feathers

  • Glitter

  • Valuables

Start packing and start getting excited! Dance Marathon will be the time of your life, so make sure you pack appropriately. Only two more days, get excited!

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What to expect at Dance Marathon


There are exactly 5-days until Dance Marathon 2019!! For those who have never been to dance marathon, first disclaimer: you do not have to dance for 24-hours straight!! Dance Marathon is an incredible 24-hour event jam packed with family stories, color group wars, a morale dance, live music, silent disco, 5-a.m. rave, hair chop challenge, six free meals, laser tag and many more surprises! 24-hours may seem like a long time, but with so much going on all at the same time, you will never be bored!

Dance Marathon officially begins Saturday at 10 a.m.Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and will run until 9:45 a.m. Check-in times will be divided up by color groups. If you’d like to get your beauty sleep Saturday morning (highly suggest!) then there is early check-in from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon. After you get all checked-in, you will begin filing into Tate Grand Hall for the start of Dance Marathon and Opening Ceremonies!!

One of our favorite DM traditions is the standing challenge, a challenge in which DM participants will stand for the entirety of Dance Marathon’s 24-hours in honor of the kids who can’t. The miracle families are always so grateful when they see your standing challenge bib and it means so much to them to see an organization of college students dedicating themselves to the health and lives of children they will never meet. Your feet might hate you the next day, but the impact you will make will make it all worth it.

Another fun aspect of Dance Marathon are the color groups! Each color group is led by two color group captains, and throughout the day there will be color group wars in which the color groups compete against each other. Go all out for your color group and dress up in your color, it makes the color group wars way more fun!  

One of the most impactful parts of Dance Marathon is when we get to hear from our miracle families about their experience at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and with UGA Miracle. The families’ resilience and strength in the face of adversity will truly move you. The best part about their testimonies is that we get to see our “why” and who we have actually been fundraising for this whole year.

Dance Marathon is a truly transformative experience. You will get tired, your legs will hurt but you will never feel more alive. The passion and dedication that radiates off of Tate Student Center will ignite your soul and the other 2,000+ students will push you and motivate you to keep going through the 24-hours. At the end of Dance Marathon, we will reveal our fundraising total for the entire 2018-2019 year. This moment is special and the cheers will be something you cherish forever.

Dance Marathon only comes one day a year, so give it your all and make the most of these 24-hours. They will fly by much faster than you anticipate as you are running all over Tate Grand Hall with 2,000+ of your new friends. So get some sleep this week, drink lots of water, and get ready for 24-hours that you will never forget.

We Will Fill the Pool

The pool under construction at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The pool under construction at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

This year, UGA Miracle has the absolute honor to fundraise for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s new aquatic therapy pool. This pool will make Children’s the only pediatric hospital in the entire southeast! The pool is not possible without UGA Miracle. Our $1.3 million goal will go directly towards finishing the pool’s construction and get it up and running for the hundreds of kids who will visit the pool every month.

Any child being treated in Children’s extensive rehabilitation unit will be able to use the pool at their therapists’ behest. Aquatic therapy is especially beneficial to children who are being treated for traumatic injuries, musculoskeletal or neurological disabilities, or recovering from surgery. This zero-entry pool is wheelchair friendly and the floor can be slowly lowered without any awkward movements or pain and also features underwater cameras and a fun environment that prioritizes recovery while still allowing kids to have fun. Aquatic therapy benefits include: posture improvement, reduced pain that therapy on the ground may inflict, increased flexibility, better range of motion of the body, improved balance and coordination, and much more. All of these benefits that were previously out of reach for patients on land are now possible because of the pool!

Most children being treated at Children's spend extended periods of time in the hospital during and after their treatment. Even though Children’s provides an incredibly supportive and lively environment, at the end of the day, the children are still in a hospital being treated every single day. The pool provides kids with a new and exciting opportunity for treatment, and an escape from their rooms or every-day land therapy. Water is a more exciting and fun place to learn, and it naturally motivates the children to participate in therapy without it feeling like a chore. While being treated in the pool, children become more mobile and aware of their bodies, movements, and breathing. Difficult tasks that the children are not able to accomplish on land are now possible in the water, creating an amazing sense of accomplishment for patients who can excel through water therapy.

This pool is an incredible step towards creating healthier and happier kids at Children’s. It takes us to build the pool, and it takes us to create miracles at Children’s. In these next 24 days until Dance Marathon, we have to give everything we have in order to reach $1.3 million and help Children’s build the pool and provide an incredibly unique and beneficial experience to all of their rehab patients.

WE WILL build the pool!!!

We Will raise $1.3 million

Taken at Goal Reveal 2019

Taken at Goal Reveal 2019

Last Wednesday, UGA Miracle unveiled our 2018-2019 fundraising goal: the number our organization has been striving to hit for the past 10 months and the number we hope to raise at Dance Marathon total reveal in 32 days.  Setting a number goal brings a different sense of purpose and excitement when it comes to fundraising, a goal in which you and your organization must conquer together.

Some of you may be asking, What is a fundraising goal? A fundraising goal is the number that we as an organization, UGA Miracle, hope to fundraise by 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 23rd. It is the number we hope to raise high above our heads at total reveal and go on celebrating for the rest of the year. A combination of every single one of our members’ efforts, perseverance and dedication. A uniting anthem for our entire organization to rally around.

This year, our goal stands for all that We Will do for our hospital, miracle kids and campus. $1 million towards Children’s healthcare of Atlanta’s rehabilitation unit and $300,000 to Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Accomplishing this goal will take our entire organization giving our all, this goal takes all of us. $1.3 M for the kids is attainable and possible, but only if we all work together and give it everything we have for these next 32 days.

When fundraising over the next few weeks leading up to Dance Marathon, remember your why. Why do you support UGA Miracle? Why do you attend meetings every Wednesday when you could be at dinner with friends? Why did you join UGA Miracle? Your “why” is still the most powerful reason of all to keep fundraising, to keep striving to defeat your own fundraising goal and keep dedicating yourself to this organization. All we do is for our hospital and our miracle families, so it is for them that We Will raise 1.3 million dollars.

Dance Marathon is in 32 days. In just a few short weeks, we will be holding our number up high at total reveal and celebrating it for all it means to us, our hospital and our miracle families. In these next 32 days, hold your “why” close and join us in fighting for 1.3 million for the kids.

We Will Raise $1.3M!

Your Guide to Organic Winter Break Fundraising

Photo from UGA Miracle’s Tour of Homes event

Photo from UGA Miracle’s Tour of Homes event

Finals are over, students are home, now it’s time to get that dough ftk! This winter break, UGA Miracle is decking the halls of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta by fundraising for our favorite kiddos and hospital. This winter break, instead of just posting on social media or sending some emails, try to organically fundraise ftk!

Organic fundraising is a fun and easy way to earn money for your donor drive by doing tasks in exchange for donations, doing your own fundraising push and incentives or even asking for donations instead of gifts for a holiday or birthday. So, this winter break, think of some fun ideas, chores, tasks, etc. that you can do around your home or community to earn some extra cash for the kids of Children’s. Need some ideas? We’re got them!

  1. Babysit: Offer to babysit your nieces/nephews, next-door-neighbor’s kids or put an ad out on a local babysitting website and offer to babysit in exchange for donations!

  2. Petsit: What’s better than looking after a sweet doggo or kitten in exchange for an FTK donation? Nothing!

  3. Wrap holiday gifts: Wrap your family’s, friends’ or neighbor’s holiday gifts for them in exchange for donor drive $$.

  4. Host a holiday party: Invite your friends and family over to watch Christmas movies, exchange gifts, eat dinner and more and set out a can to collect donations from any willing guests. Bake sale: Bake and sell some holiday goodies and donate your proceeds to your donor drive!

  5. Ask for donations instead of holiday gifts: Instead of asking for a physical gift this holiday, ask for a donation towards your donor drive instead!

  6. Caroling: Grab some friends, bundle up and sing some holiday songs for donations!

  7. Run errands: Offer to run errands for the busy busy neighbor, family member or friend in your life who really needs a break.

  8. Pick up/Throw-away Christmas trees: After the Christmas holiday, start a pick-up service to pick-up and throw-away Christmas trees.

  9. Sell your clothes: Sell you unwanted clothes to friends or a consignment shop and donate your profits.

  10. Dog Walking: Walk some sweet furry friends and receive a donation FTK!

  11. Driver: Drive your family and friends around to their holiday parties and act as their own personal UBER in exchange for a couple dollars towards your donor drive!

  12. Create a holiday fundraising incentive: Select a fundraising goal for yourself (Your committees are each trying to raise money for a specific piece of equipment for the hospital…how much would you need to raise to make that happen?), and then come up with a fun incentive! Jump in a freezing cold lake, walk around the mall in a Santa costume, bake all your donors cookies, so many fun opportunities!

  13. Go canning: Set out a can at your place of work, walk around the mall, the possibilities are endless! Grab some friends and a can and go canning to ask for little donations towards the kids.

  14. Arts and Crafts: Get creative and make some crafts as stocking stuffers or ornaments and sell them FTK!

  15. Sell your products: Are you incredible at drawing? Painting coolers? Or great at building things? Use the winter break downtime and sell your products then donate the proceeds to your donor drive.

There you are! Some quick and easy tips to organically fundraise this winter break. We Will Deck the Halls of Children’s and We Will keep fundraising FTK!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Commit to $100

Ringing the bell at DM18 for raising $100

Ringing the bell at DM18 for raising $100

One of the most exciting days of our year starts at midnight. $100 day, a day devoted to giving UGA Miracle your absolute all by raising $100 (or more!) for our incredible cause in only 24 hours. For our organization, this day is hugely impactful for our final total as well as for our participating members. The energy in the air, constant inspiration and apparent dedication of our members make this day an absolutely incredible experience. On this day, we can move mountains. On this day, we can make miracles happen.

$100 day needs you. It needs your time, your effort and your commitment. UGA Miracle needs you to commit to $100.

How can you commit to $100 by meeting and exceeding your $100 day goal? Here are some quick and easy tips so you can attack the day FTK.

  1. Prepare your list of people you want to ask to donate ahead of time - this makes your life so much easier when you wake up on Thursday and do not have to think of who you can ask. Make different lists of who you want to text, email, or call!

  2. Write out your templates ahead of time - go ahead and write out templates for emails and texts, so that the morning of, all you have to do is change them up a little to make it more personal to the specific person you are addressing! Be sincere in your emails/texts by explaining your “why”. People love to know the reason behind why you are raising money for a cause. Take this opportunity to let your passion shine through and really showcase your love for miracle.

  3. Social media - Social media is crucial for reaching a wide audience of individuals you may not be super close with, but who could still be very interested in supporting our cause. Trust me, your mom’s roommate from college is a better resource than you think A great tip is to post in the morning explaining the challenge, and why it would mean so much to you to receive a donation. Post again in the afternoon with an update of how close you are to reaching your goal, because this always pushes donations to help you reach your goal!

  4. “If I raise $100, I will ____” - This almost always works, because everyone loves to see people do something crazy or give out a surprise. For example, ask your class to donate to you, and if 10 people donate, you will bring donuts to the next class. Post on social media that if you raise $100, you will wear a different full body costume to class for a week! You have to follow through with these, but they are a great way to motivate people to donate!

  5. Go to the hype room - there will be hype rooms in Tate 141 and 142 all day for everyone working toward their goals to be able to help and support each other along the way! If you are struggling, so are other people, and everyone that is in the room is ready to help! It also feels awesome when you receive a donation while in the hype rooms, because everyone will be so pumped for you!

Let’s get after it and commit to $100! Happy $100 day!