Third Annual ‘Eat Dessert First Day,’ April 21, Honors Memory of Dana Morgan and Raises Funds for UA Pediatric Cancer Research

The third annual Eat Dessert First Day-A Sweet Way to Fight Childhood Cancer takes place on Friday, April 21, to honor the memory of pediatric cancer patient Dana Morgan; to celebrate family and friends; and to raise funds for pediatric cancer research at the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center

Scott and Michelle Morgan created Eat Dessert First Day (EDFD) in honor of their daughter, Dana, who passed away on Jan. 22, 2015, at the young age of 10, from complications of leukemia.

She would have turned 13 on April 21.

“On April 21, participants eat dessert first for lunch or dinner while celebrating the presence of family and friends in their lives,” said Michelle Morgan.

In addition to eating dessert first on April 21, participants are encouraged to post a photo to the EDFD Facebook page and donate $13 or more to support the UA Steele Center’s pediatric cancer research.

“Eat Dessert First Day was inspired by Dana, but honors ALL young cancer warriors and the parents who go to bed each night praying that research will find treatments that enable their precious children to survive and thrive,” said Michelle.

A number of restaurants are participating this year by promoting EDFD or donating a portion of their proceeds on April 21 to the UA Steele Center. They are:

  • 47 Scott
  • Charro Steak
  • Contigo Latin Kitchen
  • Feast
  • Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
  • Goodness
  • The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol
  • Kingfisher Bar & Grill
  • OBON Sushi + Bar + Ramen
  • Prep & Pastry
  • Renee’s Organic Oven
  • Sundaze Yogurt
  • Tavolino Ristorante Italiano

To make a donation to the UA Steele Center’s pediatric cancer research program, please go to: www.eatdessertfirstday.org

About Dana, aka “Dananator”

Dana was known to many as “Dananator” because of her champion spirit and contagious, exuberant energy. She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when she was only 4 years old.

After the original diagnosis, Dana experienced two relapses, but through it all she maintained her positive spirit. She always was sharing hugs, greeting people with a high-five and making everyone laugh. She loved many things – including her constant companion, Swimmie the Dolphin, fedoras, sports, music, wearing mismatched socks, family gatherings and, of course, dessert.

When diagnosed with the second relapse in August 2014, Dana was hospitalized at Banner – Diamond Children’s Medical Center for intensive treatments to prepare for a stem cell transplant. While at Diamond Children’s, Dana often talked about what she would do when discharged. She created a list of fun activities and adventures. One of her sweetest and simplest ideas was to enjoy family dinner at one of her favorite restaurants – with the added perk of being allowed to eat dessert first!

About the UA Steele Children’s Research Center

The UA Steele Children’s Research Center is one of the prestigious Centers of Excellence at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, part of  the University of Arizona Health Sciences. It is the state’s only academic pediatric research center designated by the Arizona Board of Regents, and the only facility in Southern Arizona where researchers and physician-scientists are dedicated to advancing medical knowledge through basic and translational research to improve children’s health. As researchers, they seek to discover answers to children’s medical mysteries. As physician-scientists, they provide compassionate care to hospitalized patients at Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center and pediatric outpatient clinics throughout Tucson and the state. And, as faculty members with the UA Department of Pediatrics, they teach and train the next generation of pediatricians and researchers.