R.W. + A.L.C.

They are the initials of Ryan White and Ashley Louise Crouse.

Ryan White inspired the creation of IUDM. Ryan contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion when he was 13. Once his condition was made public, he faced overwhelming resistance and fear from members of his community, who did not understand the disease. He spent the rest of his life bravely fighting to help those who also suffered from AIDS and to educate others about the disease. Along the way, he gained national attention and garnered support from many celebrities, including Elton John.

Ryan planned to attend Indiana University, but passed away in 1990 just before he would have entered his freshman year. The marathon was created in his memory and he has remained an inspiration to everyone involved in IUDM.

Ashley Louise Crouse was a member of the IUDM Executive Council. In 2005, on her way home from an IUDM meeting, she passed away in a car crash. Ashley was passionate about IUDM and her loss was hard for everyone. Ashley and the memory of her loving spirit have inspired IUDM to continue to grow. Carmel High School, where Ashley had attended, partnered with IUDM and is the largest high school dance marathon in the country. Her younger brother played an integral part in this collaboration and has continued to support IUDM.

These two individuals helped IUDM become the success it is today, and inspire everyone involved to continue their efforts to help the children of Riley Hospital receive the care they need. We dance FTK, and also in memory of RW and ALC.

By: Emily Nelson