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

The day honors the memory of pediatric cancer patient Dana Morgan and raises funds for pediatric cancer research at the UA Steele Children’s Research Center. Local restaurants will donate a portion of the day’s proceeds and individual donations can be made online any time.

The fourth annual Eat Dessert First Day - A Sweet Way to Fight Childhood Cancer is scheduled Saturday, 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

Dana’s parents, Scott and Michelle Morgan, created Eat Dessert First Day (EDFD) to honor her memory. Dana passed away on Jan. 22, 2015, at the young age of 10, from complications of leukemia.

She would have turned 14 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 $14 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,” Michelle said.

Several Tucson-area restaurants are participating this year by promoting EDFD or donating a portion of their proceeds on April 21 to the UA Steele Center. Those include:

Canyon’s Crown
Charro Steak
Eclectic Cafe
Finis Landing
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse
The Hub Restaurant & Creamery
Kingfisher Bar and Grill
Prep & Pastry (both locations)
Reforma Mexican Cantina
REN Coffeehouse
Sundaze Yogurt & Smoothies
Union Public House
Wildflower American Cuisine
Zinburger (both locations)

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

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!