News

Ask Jonathan

Shea Garcia, 10, who was a patient in Miami Children's Hospital, was a guest at last year's kickoff Dance Marathon event at UM. Shea and his family shared their story with participants and will be guests again at the event this Sunday at 11am at Hecht Athletic Center. Courtesy of Anjoly Ibrahim

Shea Garcia, 10, who was a patient in Miami Children's Hospital, was a guest at last year's kickoff Dance Marathon event at UM. Shea and his family shared their story with participants and will be guests again at the event this Sunday at 11am at Hecht Athletic Center. Courtesy of Anjoly Ibrahim

Everywhere University of Miami students look, whether it be by the University Center or the Richter Library, they are bombarded with “Ask Jonathan” signs. Many people wonder what this catchphrase means.

“I first thought that it must be for a tutor or something, but then I thought that maybe it’s someone’s initial, early push to become student president,” junior Eric Smith said.

“Is it something to do with the military and their old ‘don’t ask don’t tell philosophy?'” junior Alex Schendel said jokingly.

Both of these students gave answers from opposite ends of the spectrum, but neither is close to deciphering what this strange phrase truly means.

Junior Sabrina Bunch, the public relations co-chair for Dance Marathon, was able to shed some light on these mysterious signs.

“Jonathan was a child who was treated at Miami Children’s Hospital because at two and a half weeks old he started having seizures as a result of a brain tumor,” Bunch said. “They thought it was malignant. It wasn’t, luckily, and they operated. He’s healthy now and plays sports, does normal kid stuff.”

The famed Jonathan from the “Ask Jonathan” campaign is Jonathan Viana of Miami Lakes. Now 11 years old, Viana enjoys attending sporting events and playing baseball with friends and, as Bunch alluded to, is a motivation for many, especially the creators and participants of Dance Marathon.

“Jonathan and his family come every year to Dance Marathon to share their story with the volunteers,” Bunch said.

Now in its second year, Dance Marathon’s goal is to raise money for Miami Children’s Hospital, which falls under the Children’s Miracle Network. Under the network, no child can be turned away due to financial struggles.

Volunteers at Dance Marathon donate at least $10 to the cause and will be able to participate in an eight-hour marathon full of activities including video games and foosball.

“Our slogan is ‘We stand for those that can’t,’ so you can’t sit down,” Bunch said.

The “Ask Jonathan” campaign’s purpose is to spark curiosity in students’ minds and get them asking questions.

“Hopefully people will see our executive board wearing ‘I’m Jonathan’ shirts, ask questions, hear his story and volunteer for Dance Marathon,” Bunch said.

November 11, 2009

Reporters

John Marshburn


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Is there an apt comparison for this year’s American League Championship series between the Boston Re ...

If the University of Miami defense isn’t boiling with frustration by now, it must be simmering in an ...

Miami Hurricanes redshirt senior Gerald Willis was the lone UM football player chosen for the Associ ...

A new batch of evidence presented Monday at the college basketball trial in New York seems to furthe ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt apparently is a fan of President Teddy Roosevelt’s — or at leas ...

Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host, journalist and author, tells UM students that globalization and technolo ...

The program, in which UM students mentor high school students, aims to get first generation students ...

Dr. Ralph Sacco, a top neurologist and researcher at the University of Miami Miller School of Medici ...

U.S. Congresswoman and Chairman Emerita of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtine ...

Nearly 400 students participate in the National Gandhi Day of Service, the largest annual service da ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

"In The Pool" is a series highlighting the University of Miami swimming & diving stude ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.