This year I am proud and excited to serve as my organization, Kappa Alpha Theta’s, Primary Overall THON Chair! Not only have I attended and been actively involved in THON throughout every academic year at Penn State, I also participated and eventually helped plan a mini THON at my high school that continues to grow (Cam-a-Thon).
Cancer will always have a special place in my heart. My grandma, who was my best friend throughout childhood, died at the age of seventy-six from Lymphoma. She would take me out shopping, to breakfast, and to the local baseball games, a few of my favorite activities as a child. Her death when I was only seven years old was devastating and, although I was unable to comprehend the “whats” or “whys” at such a young age, cancer was what took her life that day in 2005.
Now that I am older, I am able to understand the peskiness of this disease influencing millions of lives every day. My great aunt has also been struggling with lung cancer for the past ten years, which has gone and come back many times. This past week, we discovered that her cancer was terminal and that there was nothing more they could do to help her. The fact that she never has smoked a cigarette in her life or had any unhealthy that would bring about this cancer just goes to show how Cancer can really impact anyone and everyone. Although this situation with my Nana and Great Aunt, who is about 60 years of age now, was devastating for my family and I, childhood cancer is most definitely a more crucial issue. My Nana had 76 years to live and accomplish whatever she possibly desired; for many children, they only have ten. Ten years to meet people and, hopefully, find their best friend. Ten years to explore all of the sports they are passionate about. Ten years to educate themselves on the ins and the outs of the world we live in. Ten years. Compared to seventy-six, ten years is essentially nothing. When I was in seventh grade, a student in the grade above me died of leukemia and although I was not necessarily close with him, his death had a significantly negative impact upon my community. Cameron Evans, as described by all whom he crossed, was the most positive and caring person one will ever meet. The fact that cancer can influence the lives of anyone and everyone continues to amaze me. Through THON, I hope to make a positive impact on the lives of the unlucky souls who have acquired cancer, and help their families through this process. THON is unique. Not only does it aim to raise money for the children and families dealing with this disease, it also generates personal connections with these families and helps guide them along the way. This sustainable approach is definitely something that I support, take interest in, and, therefore, hope to contribute to.
Throughout the year, I will be fundraising to benefit THON in an effort to provide outstanding financial and emotional support and spread THON’s mission world-wide. These fundraising efforts will not only be for supporting our Organizations three amazing THON children, Jazzy Inch, Levi Baker, and Dylan Zepp, but will also be to benefit all THON families and children. It is my hope that one day, every child will have the opportunity to live out their dreams.
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.