Riley-a-thon Q&A with Aidan Hurley, Riley kid, WHJE host and junior


Nathan Huang

Why did you decide to promote Riley Dance Marathon? 

I decided to make a podcast promoting Riley Dance Marathon because I thought it would be a great opportunity to utilize the people I know, like my doctors. I go to Riley every month, so I interviewed one of my doctors, and she gave a really great response about promoting Riley and Dance Marathon.

What kind of responses did your doctor give?

Well, I asked her simple questions like what her position was, and why she chose to become a doctor at Riley— she said why Riley was so different, why it was so great, and she talked about how Dance Marathon is really influential to the Riley Children’s Hospital.

How did Riley save your life?

So I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was very young. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that creates an overproduction of mucus throughout the entire body. I was hospitalized in the eighth grade, so that was kind of my last true experience with them. They were just amazing there: they made it feel like less of a burden, and a lot more comfortable being stuck in a hospital. I had surgery when I was young, and honestly without their help I wouldn’t have survived. There was a time when my heart stopped for a period of time, and they just kept doing CPR on me and they didn’t give up—That’s just the people they employ there at Riley Children’s Hospital—people who give it their all and never give up, doing what they need to do. 

Why do you think it’s a good cause to donate to Riley Dance Marathon?

Well, it definitely resonates with me more because I am a Riley kid and I have been all my life. It’s just an amazing hospital. They have literally saved my life, and I really owe it to them and want to help Dance Marathon.

Why should people donate?

It’s just an amazing cause. It goes to a place that truly does care about the kids that they are trying to save and help. I’m not entirely sure, but I think a donation will help with the pay of the doctors, and then hires more doctors to take care of all the kids there, getting more staff to help more kids, and I think that’s really what it’s all about.

Other than donations, how can people help?

I think a good one is definitely supporting it on your social media, your Instagram, Twitter or whatnot, and just promoting and getting the word out on what you can do, what others can do, and letting people be aware.

How does Dance Marathon better the lives of every Riley patient?

By just letting the kids know that there are people rooting for them, and out there supporting them, and knowing that people are doing things for them can be inspiring and comforting for all the kids.

Are you going to participate in this year’s Dance Marathon?

Yes, I would like to.