Tiffany Seibert

Silver Wings

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Growing up is a beautiful thing. Let’s fight for it.

If there is one thing I have learned growing up, looking back on my childhood, and looking at the children growing up around me now, is children are resilient. This resilience is powerful; it can help children bring light to so many people's lives, through their infectious giggles and wonder for what is to come in life. Particularly, children impacted by cancer have an even more powerful spark of resilience. It is because of this resilience that I want to dedicate my life to helping children and families impacted by childhood cancer.

My dedication towards raising money and awareness for childhood cancer goes back to middle school. For a mere 12 hours, my friends and I stood in the school auditorium raising money for the Four Diamonds. Back then, I didn't know that I would eventually have the (insanely wonderful) opportunity to attend Penn State and participate in the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON).

For three years, I had the amazing opportunity to be on the Rules and Regulations Committee for THON. Each year, on a committee I was able to share and learn about the indescribable impact THON makes on the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer. 

A little over 2 years ago, I learned that my Dad had his own battle with cancer on the pediatric floor of the Hershey Medical Center when he was 20 years old. He shared stories of a time before the Four Diamonds and THON existed, as it does now, and how hard it was for each of the families he met during his treatment.

Less than 4% of government funding for cancer research goes to childhood cancer research. THON, which benefits the Four Diamonds, helps with this deficit in funding. Unlike when my dad was in treatment, because of THON, there are child-life specialists, music therapists, developmental psychologists, as well as world-renowned cancer researchers at Penn State Children's Hospital.

Back in March 2018, I learned Dr. Barbara Miller, Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Director of The Four Diamonds Research Center, has been a family friend for many years. She took some time out her busy schedule in July 2018 to sit down and explain some of her research to me. 

My dad's story motivated me to seek further involvement in THON. Last year, I served as the Public Relations Liaison Captain on the Donor and Alumni Relations: Alumni Engagement Committee! #AlumniFTK

Image may contain: 16 people, including Allyna May, Tyler Mraz, Megan Reese, Sara Harris, Chelsey Bunner, Megan McPaul, Eddie Issertell, Ryan Woodring, Lulu Hamm and 2 others, people smiling

This year, in my last year of involvement as a student, I wanted to go back to one of the organizations that started it all, Silver Wings. Silver Wings is an organization that connects civilians with military life through Air Force ROTC. I was involved with Silver Wings extensively during my freshman and sophomore year when I was a cadet, as well as my junior year when I became a civilian upon leaving ROTC. I met the Krodel Family, when they were paired with Silver Wings in 2016 during my freshman year and have been inspired by them and all the Four Diamonds Families I have met ever since. I am grateful to have the opportunity to get back to being involved in the organization for my Super Senior year. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to fundraise for THON on their behalf and bring hope to all Four Diamonds families during THON 2020 with them.

I am excited for what is to come as 16,500 student volunteers and 25,000 alumni supporters join me in turning childhood dreams into a reality. Please join us in our commitment to one day dance in celebration of cure. 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. To learn more about THON visit THON.org.

               Forever and Always FTK,