Spotlight Sunday: Four Diamonds - Conquering Children's Cancer

I have an important announcement to make. I really need one of my children to attend Penn State. Usually, people have a reason behind strong feelings about attending one college over another, especially when it isn't about legacy or something.

Why do I want someone to attend a school I have absolutely no connection to? Is it that they have a program one of my kids wants? They do, actually, but that's not it. Is it because I need a reason to root for a Big Ten school in football? I do, but that's not it either. Is it because I have never met a more passionate and connected alum network where alums decorate their dining rooms in Nittany blue? Nah, decorating your house in team colors is just weird.*

* I have no business saying this, I have a Patriots Christmas tree...that's weirder.

It is because of THON. Seriously. They need to go to Penn State and they need to get involved with THON on DAY ONE.  

THON 2007 - the first time it was held in the Bryce Jordan Center. IT IS THAT BIG... Attribution  here .

THON 2007 - the first time it was held in the Bryce Jordan Center. IT IS THAT BIG... Attribution here.

 

If you went to Penn State, you know ALLLLL about THON. But if you didn't, here's the deal. THON supports Four Diamonds. And here's the deal about Four Diamonds.

The Four Diamonds’ mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Children’s Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research.

We believe in a holistic approach to childhood cancer treatment. We treat the disease, but we also care for the child’s well-being and their family. In addition, Four Diamonds covers all expenses for the care and treatment of the child not paid for by insurance or other means.

When they say that Four Diamonds provides COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT for children battling cancer and their families. I mean, comprehensive. 100% coverage of a patient's needs. 

And one of the coolest ways they get funds is THON. It's absolutely insane. It is a year long program at Penn State, culminating in 46 hours of dancing. (Get it? THON? Mara-THON?) THON 2017 raised $10,045,478.44. Since 1977, THON has raised over $146 million in support of Four Diamond's mission. 

821193E3-9192-4FEE-99C3D691A4516C9F.jpg

THON 2018 takes place Feb. 16-18 next year at the Bryce Jordan Center and they've created an alum challenge too. If you happen to be a Penn State Alum, you can participate now by going to https://donate.thon.org, select that you  support the Alumni Challenge while making any online contribution to THON. Your state will show up -and you can represent! 

But it isn't just this one massive event. What started as 39 couples dancing for 30 hours has grown. It now includes: 

- THON 5K
- THON Family Carnival
- The Road to THON Celebration
- Mini-THONs  - You can learn more about Mini-THONs here. These smaller THONs run in elementary, middle and high schools in 8 states and growing! 

Four Diamonds Mini-THON students from Thomas Jefferson High School throw their diamonds in the air at their 2014 Mini-THON. (Credit to fourdiamonds.org)

Four Diamonds Mini-THON students from Thomas Jefferson High School throw their diamonds in the air at their 2014 Mini-THON. (Credit to fourdiamonds.org)

Pro tip: Anyone can donate to Four Diamonds. You don't have to be associated with the school at all. The kids you will be helping aren't affiliated with Penn State, you don't have to be either! 

We love these guys for the support they give families in need and for the spirit and enthusiasm of the people involved in all kinds of THON at all levels. Like them on Facebook to get connected and become a part of the joy.  

Donate on my friends, or get involved. 

Rebecca RyanComment