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Bobby Pillote/Daily Senior Staffer

Dance Marathon 2015: Block 8 recap

March 7, 2015

For 12-year-old Matthew Jazwinski and his mother Tamara, 30 hours has a special resonance.

“This is a 30-hour dance marathon, and that’s essentially what parents go through during the first 30 hours of their child’s surgery,” Tamara Jazwinski told The Daily during Block 8, after Matthew’s band had performed onstage.

AY_4301kidsAlice Yin/Daily Senior Staffer

Matthew, who was born with a heart condition called tetralogy of fallot, has had four cardiac surgeries, each time spending at least a day in the hospital. Amid his own medical struggles, Matthew formed a band called Pulsebeat that performs at fundraisers, largely in support of children’s causes.

“I love to play music,” Matthew, who plays bass, told The Daily. “It’s one of my favorite things to do. And to do it for a cause that I personally have is great.”

BP_3616bandBobby Pillote/Daily Senior Staffer

Before Pulsebeat’s set, Tamara Jazwinski addressed the dancers, explaining the 30-hour ordeal of Matthew’s June 2011 pacemaker replacement surgery.

The band covered songs by The Black Keys, the Arctic Monkeys and Fall Out Boy, to enthusiastic response from the audience.

The live music theme continued after Pulsebeat exited the stage, with Battle of the Bands winner August Hotel performing next.

BP_3692crowdBobby Pillote/Daily Senior Staffer

McCormick sophomore and first-time dancer Adam Farsheed said he enjoyed the infusion of live music, which began during Block 7 with Mariachi Northwestern.

“(The bands) are pretty interesting and pretty good,” Farsheed said. “It changes it up, when they’re interacting with the crowd.”

Block Eight also featured guest videos from Iggy Azalea and Mark Wahlberg, and the annual mosh pit that results from the playing of Darude’s “Sandstorm.” Energy was consistent, as dancers began to sense DM’s approaching end.

AY_4323danceAlice Yin/Daily Senior Staffer

Late in the block, dancers welcomed Marissa Penrod and her son Joseph, whose Team Joseph philanthropy — which fights Duchenne muscular dystrophy — was Dance Marathon’s primary beneficiary in 2014.

Marissa Penrod gushed about DM’s impact on Team Joseph and encouraged the dancers to finish strong in their final two blocks. Last year, DM gave $931,289.21 to Team Joseph, which Penrod said has been used to accelerate research projects.

“You make us feel like we’re not alone, and that means more than any dollar that will show up on the board,” she said. “You are paying the price for people who can’t pay it themselves, for my Joseph.”

BP_3842smallchildBobby Pillote/Daily Senior Staffer

Dancers erupted in cheers when Joseph joined his mother on stage.

“There’s no energy like the Northwestern Dance Marathon energy,” Marissa Penrod told The Daily after her speech. “It’s one of a kind.”

The block ended with the announcement that a week before the total money deadline, DM had raised $495,371.

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