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For me I knew THON was a good cause from the moment I've heard of its cause. Helping support families who have children fighting childhood cancer, it doesn't get more valiant than that. This is what I thought before I truly knew what THON was. The moment I was able to catch a glimpse of the inside of the BJC was when I thought the true meaning of THON was apparent. I knew Penn State was a big school, but I never realized how big until I saw what seemed to be tens of thousands of people packed into our basketball arena for the cause. So many students coming together to help people in need. I felt warm inside and felt as though I had experienced the true meaning of THON. I had not even scratched the surface of what it meant.
I stayed at THON for at least 8 hours that first night, I was so caught up in the excitement I don't remember the exact time I left. It wasn't until that second day that I was able to understand a little more what THON was all about.
I woke up extremely groggy and not wanting to go back to THON Saturday probably around mid afternoon. I wanted to take some time for myself, but looking back that was a very selfish outlook. I made it back into the BJC sometime Saturday afternoon and was there for a few hours before I heard that there was going to be a talent show. But this was not going to be a student talent show, it was going to be performed by the THON kids. The first kid gets up on stage and I was thinking, "Wow, she must be about 4 years old. I couldn't imagine having my world turned upside-down by cancer at that age." She started singing and the entire place just exploded. Everyone was cheering and applauding and treating this girl as if she was performing her hit song that was #1 on the top 100 billboard for 20 weeks straight. It was a moment I will never forget. This young girl, who is going through probably one of the most traumatizing thing someone her age can experience, gets treated like the greatest rock star to ever live, and yet this is only a part of what THON is all about.
Sophomore year I was looking forward to THON since the start of the spring semester. I waited in anticipation in the cold, State College, February weather with what seemed like the rest of the Penn State student population. This year was just as special as the year before until we were called to leave the BJC for THON Explorers. THON Explorers is a program where you are able to teach THON kids your sport and I had the amazing opportunity along with some of my teammates to teach the kids lacrosse. Forming the bonds with those kids has hopefully brightened their day, and they most certainly brightened mine and gave me a new outlook on life. Hearing their positivity and enthusiasm after everything they had been through has made me passionate for THON and all the good it does to help these children and their families.
My Junior year I was able to run THON Explorers and see all the smiles on kids faces. I also was able to support some of my best friends who were dancing and stay all 46 hours. The best part about THON is seeing kids who have gone through more than you imagine having the biggest smile on their face and hear their laughter.
If you made it all the way through my long winded account of what THON means to me, thank you for taking the time. Please help the families pay medical bills that could ruin lives of not only the children, but their families that are working tirelessly to support them. No matter if you donate through me or another person please help make a difference so we can end the suffering these kids must face.