Dozens hit the dance floor for 8 hours to benefit Lurie Children's Hospital patients

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dozens of people danced for eight hours straight in downtown Chicago to raise money for children battling disease.

Lurie Children's Hospital hosted a dance marathon at the Marriott Hotel along the Magnificent Mile Saturday, with each step helping children like Gia Ramian.

Gia has already had 27 surgeries at just 7 years old.

"To be here, to see people cheering you on and supporting the hospital who has saved your child, it just kind of gives it more of a light or a happier ending of the goal we're going towards," said Jill Ramian, Gia's mother.

She said Lurie is certainly a worthwhile place to send donations, especially with its family services.

For the Ramian family, the dance marathon is a source of inspiration.

"It's hard to find the strength to keep going," Jill Ramian said. "That just brings joy to us and I feel like it's kind of our way to say thank you."

Elianna Fontanetta, 16, said she's been on the dance floor every single year, giving back to the hospital that helps her tackle spina bifida.

"They've helped me get better, they've taken good care of me," Fontanetta said.

The teen said she's dancing to support other kids too.

"I feel like it's important to give back," she said.
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