Family dances for their modern-day miracle

  • moshpit
    Students danced for 12 hours on Saturday for the kids.
  • Hayden
    Hayden Cech takes a break from dancing to play in the sandbox, one of the many activities provided for the children.
  • Kayla_Lauren
    UNL students, Kayla German and Lauren Largen, show off their hip dance moves.
  • DSC_3600
    Jackie Cech spends time with her daughter Payton.
  • DSC_3687
    Despite the long day, students stay energized and danced all day long.

Story, photos and audio by Erica Nett, NewsNetNebraska

The Cech family of Denton took a break from their normal routine on a recent Saturday and spent the day dancing with 1,000 university students.

The Cechs were one of many featured families at this year’s Dance Marathon at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jackie Cech and her husband, Ryan, brought their three children: Patyon, Trey and Hayden. They reported to the UNL Campus Rec for 12 hours of non-stop dancing and fun, with the occasional heart-wrenching story.

Dance Marathon supports the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Omaha. Students raised money for the cause by dancing.

One of the children the students danced for was Hayden Cech.

“Hayden is our miracle child,” Jackie Cech said. “She was born 10 weeks premature, and at nine days old we found out she had six different heart defects.”

Hayden, who just turned five, has had eight surgeries, including two open-heart surgeries. Her parents had to wait three months until they could bring her home, and for the first year of her life, she was on oxygen, a feeding tube and a heart monitor.

Today Hayden is in preschool and is doing well.

“We’re kind of at the happy end of things,” Jackie Cech said.

The family wouldn’t have missed the Dance Marathon.

“It feels amazing to know you’re not alone,” Jackie Cech said. “[Seeing] all these kids are giving up their Saturday to dance, it renews your faith in humanity.”


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