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My name is Jayati, and I'm a sophomore here at Penn State! This year, I'm the chair of the Pi Mu Mu THON organization, and I am also a THON Dancer Relations committee member!
Through my THON Organization, I have been paired with some truly inspirational families. Our first THON "child" is Tawny Fultz. Tawny is an amazing woman who beat cancer as a child. She has stayed involved in THON to show other families that it is possible to survive childhood cancer and move on with life.
Our second THON child is Zoey Daughtry. Zoey is a strong little girl who has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Watching her strength and perseverance has been the highlight of my THON experience so far.
Cancer affects the lives of so many people around us. I, myself, have a very personal relationship to cancer. My grandpa battled stage IV colon cancer, and it was painful to see him suffer from the disease as well as from chemotherapy. In a matter of a few months, the cancer transformed an active, physically fit person into a cachectic individual dependent on others for the smallest of things.
My experience with my grandpa inspired me to get involved in THON because it made me realize how important it is that these families get the support that they need, both emotionally and financially. THON ensures that no Four Diamonds family will ever receive a hospital bill, but in addition to this, it gives the families a support system so that they don't have to face cancer alone.
After my grandpa passed away, I went on to get involved with cancer research. I’ve spent 2 summers interning at Dana Farber Cancer Institute where I tried to find better treatments for triple negative breast cancer. During my time in the lab, I found out how expensive experiments can become. Just one 24-hour live cell imaging experiment cost over $1,000!
Since 1977, THON has raised over $157 million for Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital, providing comprehensive care for 4,000 families and fund critical research to take our fight beyond central Pennsylvania and spread hope around the world. We work year-round to provide both financial and emotional support for our families, ensuring that they never have to face cancer alone.
Our year-long fundraising efforts culminate in a 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon each February to celebrate our survivors, remember those we’ve lost, and take a stand--all in hopes of one day dancing in celebration of a cure.
I believe so much in the mission of THON, and I am so proud to be a part of the world’s biggest student-run philanthropy. Participating in THON has given me the chance to meet so many inspirational people and has shown me how much we can accomplish if we step up to the plate. The impact that THON has is so amazing, and I would be truly grateful for any donation that you can contribute.
For the Kids,