Kaitlyn Engisch

Team Captain Strength & Endurance Virtual THON 5K Presented by PNC

Strength and Endurance

Two very important words in my life personally. My best friend, Dan, was 26 years old when he was diagnosed with a cancer. I remember my first time visiting him at Sloan. We tried to make light of the situation and went down to the rec room. It was then that I was hit with the reality of the situation. Children, small children, babies learning how to walk, toddlers playing with blocks and coloring, school aged children playing video games.... All bald, all wearing face masks, and all with cancer. Dan and I decided to sit at the arts and crafts center where I heard the most innocent voice say Hi, introduce themselves and explain  that they are 7 years old and have been at the hospital for months getting treatment. We spoke about how he wants to go back to school, and misses his friends and how he planned on getting a BMX bike when he got out of the hospital and how he wanted to become a professional. I hope and dream that he was able to do that!

SO this is why I THON, I THON for Dan who unfortunately passed away from Cancer a year after his diagnosis. I THON for every child I passed in the hallway at Sloan. I THON for every parent who has ever had to hear the words "Your Child has Cancer."   I THON for the past, present and future faces of childhood Cancer, in hopes that one day there won't be little future faces of Childhood Cancer... just survivors. 

"We create the finest masterpieces not with brushes and oil, but with the strength and endurance we mold within ourselves." -Dan

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