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CBS 2 Heroes: Dance Marathon

Updated: Thursday, December 19 2013, 08:13 AM CST

SAM CLAASSEN IS AN IMPRESSIVE YOUNG MAN.  VOLUNTEER, STUDENT, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER (WE'LL TALK MORE ABOUT THAT IN A MOMENT) AND....CANCER SURVIVOR.

SOT MOM TRUDY AT  5:39 "SAM WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AN INOPERABLE BRAIN TUMOR ON HIS OPTIC NERVE AT 6 MONTHS OLD." (PIC OF SAM AS BABY ON UP AT 14:35)

THE TUMOR LEFT HIM LEGALLY BLIND, BUT IT HASN'T STOPPED HIM.   THE SOON-TO-BE 19-YEAR OLD HAS CELEBRATED IN A UNIQUE WAY EACH YEAR.

NATS OF DANCE MARATHON FILE

HIS BIRTHDAY ALWAYS AROUND THE TIME OF THE UNIVERISTY OF IOWA DANCE MARATHON'S BIG EVENT.

SAM, IS ONE IT'S LONGEST SURVIVING ALUMNI.  ATTENDING NEARLY EVERY DANCE MARATHON SINCE IT BEGAN.

SOT 51:53 "I MISSED ONE YEAR BECUASE THAT WAS DURING MY RELAPSE AND I KINDA JUST DIDN'T FEEL UP TO IT."

MORE NATS OF MARATHON

DANCE MARATHON'S ABILITY TO LIFT UP AND CELEBRATE KIDS WITH CANCER ARE AMONG HIS MOST CHERISHED MEMORIES.

SOT 51:07 "THEY CHANT, F-T-K, F-T-K, IT'S JUST FOR THE KIDS."

HIS PERSONAL COMMITMENT CAN BE SEEN IN A SEA OF DANCE MARATHON T-SHIRTS...
BUT MOM HAS A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. .

SOT 12:55 "IT'S A FAMILY EVENT.  WHEN YOU'RE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, YOU THINK THIS IS NOT NORMAL.  AHVING A CHILD THAT'S GONE THROUGH ALL THE TREATMENTS HE'S BEEN THROUGH. YOU REALIZE YOU'RE NOT ALONE."

FOR JUST THE SECOND TIME, SAM WON'T BE AT THE BIG EVENT.  HE'LL BE WORKING.  D-J-'ING THE WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL DANCE MARATHON FOR HIS *OWN PRODUCTION COMPANY, APTLY NAMED "BLIND SOUL PRODUCTIONS."   (BLIND SOUL PRODUCTIONS TRAILER AT 43:10)

DANCE MARATHON STILL A PART OF HIS LIFE, IN NEW WAYS.

SOT 13:25 "IT'S BEEN A WONDERFUL 18 YEARS OF DANCE MARATHON...A GREAT CAUSE."


CBS 2 Heroes: Dance Marathon


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