Mix 106.5 deejay Maria Dennis
In Baltimore, Mix 106.5 FM deejay and Radiothon co-host Maria Dennis has been named the 2016 English Radio Person of the Year by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH), of which the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is a member hospital. The Baltimore radio station’s annual Radiothon has raised more than $18 million for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center over the years.
A longtime co-host of the Mix 106.5 Radiothon, Dennis has a large and loyal following among those children and families who have known her throughout her years with the fundraising marathon. “Maria is all that is affectionate, encouraging and reassuring,” says Johns Hopkins Pediatrician-in-Chief George Dover. “We think of her as a member of our Johns Hopkins family.”
After years of advocating on the air for the needs of Johns Hopkins’ pediatric patients, Dennis found herself on the receiving end of the medical powerhouse. Two weeks after wrapping up the 2014 Radiothon, she was diagnosed at The Johns Hopkins Hospital with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a pediatric form of leukemia. Dennis, a leading deejay on the radio station’s popular morning show, openly shared her story on the air, rallying the Baltimore and the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center communities to her side and in the fight.
Throughout her medical care, which included chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, Dennis would return to the airwaves periodically to report on progress and hope. With her cancer at last in remission, she returned to the Radiothon in 2015. Throughout, says Dover, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, “her selflessness and continued compassion and love for our patients remained unwavering. She opened up to children and families about her experience as a patient, while making sure to highlight her true heroes – the children and their families.”
The Mix 106.5 Radiothon is the longest running CMNH Radiothon in the nation. The 2016 Mix 106.5 Radiothon to benefit the Johns Hopkins Children's Center takes place Wednesday through Thursday, Feb. 17-18, and is broadcast live from the lobby of The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center building. Dennis returns to co-host.