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Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with pediatric cancer.
Through research, this number has been declining, however there is still much work to do. Each year 16,500 student volunteers at Penn State come together to help reduce that number. Our year-long efforts culminate in a 46 hour no sitting/no sleeping dance marathon.
Since 1977, THON has raised over $168 million for Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital, providing comprehensive care for 4,000 families and funding critical research to take our fight beyond central Pennsylvania and spread hope around the world. The families supported by the Four Diamonds Foundation never see a hospital bill, but THON's mission extends beyond relieving the families of this financial burden. We work year-round to provide both financial AND emotional support for our families, ensuring that they never have to face cancer alone.
Every dollar donated helps work towards our goal of a parent never having to hear the words "Your child has cancer". Here are some examples of what your generous donations could help contribute to:
Three years ago I stood in the Bryce Jordan Center at my first THON, watching tears of joy run down my friend’s face as he successfully stood for 46 hours. At the age of 3, Ryan Mouery was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but he was remission when I first met him in high school and has been in remission ever since. Dancing in THON had long been a dream of his, and after his mother lost her battle with cancer, he had even more of a reason to stand. Cancer runs deep in many of our lives, but few people understand the true impact as much as the Mouery’s. I was able to support them in their fundraising as they successfully worked towards their goal of raising $25,000. Although I had been helping them with THON since our high school mini-THON, it was not until this moment in the BJC that I realized how much THON means to the families that are a part of it. It is so much more than the countless medical bills that are covered. It serves as a reminder that no one should take on this fight alone, and that during a families' darkest hours there are thousands of students standing behind them to show them continuous love and support.
The following year, I decided to join the fight on a Dancer Relations Committee. As a Committee Member, my role was to serve as the primary liaison to the student volunteers selected to dance for 46 hours THON Weekend. The Dancer Relations Committee ensures the safety and well-being of the dancers by coordinating all logistical aspects of the dancer experience, as well as training and learning techniques to provide emotional and physical support to every dancer throughout THON Weekend.
THON is more than just a philanthropy. It is a movement of thousands of student volunteers united in pursuit of one common goal - conquering childhood cancer. THON inspires a generation of young philanthropists that are making this world a better place for years to come. Through this organization I have met some of the most selfless and caring individuals. They have encouraged me to be a better person and inspired me to give back to this community.
This year, I was selected to be a captain for the Dancer Relations Committee. I have the pleasure of leading a group of 40 devoted and passionate people who are already making a tremendous impact on THON and the families. My goal is to provide an opportunity for every student and alum to experience the hope and support of the THON Community, and to feel empowered to work toward a cure.
I hope that you will join us in the fight and consider donating to THON. 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.