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Join me, Alpha Phi Omega, and Penn State University in our commitment to turn childhood dreams into reality by supporting THON. This year, I am taking action with my service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, by uniting with 16,500 student volunteers and over 25,000 alumni supporters in the fight against childhood cancer. Our year-long 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.
Last year at THON 2019 and this year, THON means something different to me. My 17 year old cousin, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma two years ago. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare cancer that forms in soft tissue like skeletal muscles. Her diagnosis at age 15 was heartbreaking not only for her immediate family, but also her extended family and friends who love her so much. Thankfully, the chemotherapy and radiation she received saved her life, and she is now over 1 year in remission. She continues to laugh and be the bright soul that she is, even after her struggles with pediatric cancer. Kaitlyn is now active in supporting other children and families by participating runs benefitting the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where she got her treatment. She just recently ran the Parkway Run and Walk on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia to support the efforts to find a cure for pediatric cancer. I am so proud of her for all she has overcome the past two years, and it is my hope that one day, every child gets to live out their dreams like Kaitlyn will.
Kaitlyn (right) and her sister, Morgan (left), after the Rocky Run in Philadelphia in 2018.
After seeing someone I love go through cancer, I had an even bigger incentive to become co-THON chair for my organization, Alpha Phi Omega. It is ours and the 16,500 student volunteers' responsibility to show everyone what cancer CANNOT DO. Throughout the year, I will be fundraising to benefit THON in an effort to provide outstanding financial and emotional support for Four Diamonds families.
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.
I truly appreciate any support you provide, either by making a donation or by sharing my page on social media to spread THON’s mission.