Hello!!! If you follow my Instagram, you would’ve seen a post from my school’s Mini-THON earlier today. This is such a cool program they have set up all across schools in Pennsylvania and does so much good, so I thought I would share.
The main program, THON, started at Pennsylvania State University in 1973. The students there raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund which funds research for pediatric cancer. It also helps out the families with children who are victims of childhood cancer with their hospital, housing, car, nursing, medication, and travel bills. Those hospital bills can cripple families alone, never mind having a child who is battling cancer on top of that.
There is an annual THON Weekend where the students at PSU participate in a 46-hour long dance marathon where no sleeping or sitting is allowed. This allows the children Four Diamonds is helping to have fun, the students to help a great cause, and to spread awareness of the little funding comparatively to other cancers in the United States. Now, over 16,500 college student volunteers participate in THON every year, making it the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. For this year’s THON, they raised $10,045,478.44 to conquer childhood cancer.
You can read more about it here.
Other schools across Pennsylvania have decided to host their own Mini-THON’s now, including my high school, middle school, and elementary schools. I volunteered as a chaperone at the 6-hour middle school one and was an active participant in the 12-hour high school one (which went from 6PM – 6AM after school).
We don’t just dance the whole time, because there’s a talent show, volleyball tournament, bouncy house, swimming pool, ping pong table, DJ, four square, and, of course, lots of food. It’s even more fun with friends.
Though there’s some fun activities, we have guest speakers come in to talk about their experiences with childhood cancer. The first speaker talked about her child who was diagnosed with terminal cancer right before his 3rd birthday. He was given 12-18 months and almost made it to 24 months. Four Diamonds payed for what their insurance didn’t cover, along with their gas money from going back and forth. It certainly made all of us realize how lucky we are to have our health and not have to go through something like this, because it’s something you would not wish on your worst enemy.
The second speaker talked to us later in the night about her child who was diagnosed with cancer at 6 years old. He would be getting treatment for many years to come. Four Diamonds helped them with their medical bills and whatever else they needed. She was so excited and tearful when talking about his recovery, since she didn’t know if he’d make it to 7 years old. This coming June, she is watching her son walk across the stage at graduation at 18 years old to receive his diploma, after being in remission for many years.
In the last few hours, we did a luminary walk with candles in paper bags memorializing those who lost their battle. The walk was in complete silence, and really made me realize how lucky my family and I are to not have to have this diagnosis.
Our school district in total raised over $96,000 this year.
I hope you find a cause that’s close to your heart and helps you view the world in a different light. Help when you can, because one act of kindness can make all of the difference in the life of someone who is struggling.
For The Kids.