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Tori Hippen

Whiplash Dance Team

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Why I THON...

I have a really strong connection to THONs mission being a childhood cancer survivor. While I was blessed to have my cancer fully removed with surgery, I came to know families and kids through my frequent visits to the hospital who weren’t as lucky and were still fighting. I went through check up visits wondering why I was blessed to have the opportunity to continue my life while others don’t get this same chance. Seeing them fight everyday, physically, mentally and emotionally. It is heartbreaking. It’s the reason why I started pursuing a path towards becoming a physician and the reason why I am so passionate about THON. Cancer is simply awful. And I want to fight for a cure everyday both with THON and in my efforts to become a physician and pursue a career in oncology research, so one day a child with cancer doesn’t have to worry about life after death but rather just imagine all the things they can do when they grow up.

I am overjoyed at the opportunity to be serving as my dance team Whiplash’s overall THON chair this 2023-2024 school year. Getting involved more in THON and everything that it encompasses means the absolute world to me. Especially getting the opportunity to do so through an organization that I love as much as Whiplash.

As I have grown closer to the members of my dance team, admired the strength of our dancers standing united at THON, heard everyone’s unique stories for why they THON, and held onto each other during some of the hardest moments during past THON weekends, I truly am amazed by the depths of the hearts of the people on this team.

The care Whiplash has for THON, for each other, and for our families fills my heart with immense love and joy. 

The families are truly what makes THON what it is. Yes, we as students have the opportunity to stand in honor of them, those currently fighting, those who won the fight, and our little angel babies, but the families are truly the ones who embody the four diamonds, courage, wisdom, honesty, and strength. They amaze me. They are going through the hardest time of their life but still stay so strong and emit so much light and love into the world. 

I have had the opportunity to truly admire and appreciate THON, all the effort that goes into it, the impact that we as students can have on THON families and the impact they have on us through my relationship with my dance team’s THON families, the Arevalos and Drapchos

My dad, Rodger Hippen, is another reason why I THON. My dad passed away suddenly in September, 2023. My dad supported me through everything I pursued and every challenge I faced. He was there for me through my battle with cancer, my rigorous path to becoming a physician, my commitment to raising money for THON, and every milestone, rough patch, and event in between. Although he isn't here anymore, I know he will always be watching over me. He has been Penn State's #1 fan ever since I committed to go here and he has always supported the efforts, goals, and mission of THON. I hope to make him proud in what I accomplish as Whiplash's Overall THON Chair. I love you bunches, forever and always, Dad.

I look forward to igniting the fight against childhood cancer this year. I will continue to THON for the Arevalos and Drapchos, for my dad, for more memories, for more birthdays, for more laughter, and for every child and parent who faces this terrible life altering event until one day we can dance in celebration of a cure.

Thank you so much for reading why I THON and if you would be willing to help us in our effort, I ask that you please consider donating and sharing THONs mission to others. Your support will make a real difference in the lives of children and families!

  • Provide Emotional & Financial Support by offsetting the costs of treatment that insurance cannot cover.
  • Fund Innovative Research that will not only enhance treatment for children in Pennsylvania but is giving hope to families worldwide.
  • Spread Awareness of THON's mission across the country and throughout the world.

Together, we can make a difference. FTK Always!

Join in the fight, For The Kids!