On the first day of class my freshman year I heard everybody on campus talk about this thing called “THON”. THON was not a familiar word to me as I grew up in a small town in Jersey, however, having friends that had previously danced in THON and friends who were currently involved in THON, I knew the gist of what it was, and I knew that one day, I also wanted to get involved.
During my freshman and sophomore years at Penn State, I was involved with THON through my sorority. I attended fundraisers, went to our THON children’s Mini-THON’s, and even stood in the stands for over 40 hours each year cheering on dancers. Now a junior, I want to do something more.
Cancer is a word my family, unfortunately, knows too well. Both my grandmothers died of cancer. My maternal grandmother lost her fight to breast cancer in 1981. My aunt was then diagnosed with breast cancer in 1983, at the age of 29, but fought her fight and survived. On my second day of college in 2016, my paternal grandmother passed away from liver cancer.
For as long as I could remember, I’ve wanted to follow my grandmother’s footsteps and become a nurse. In 2016, I enrolled in PSU’s College of Nursing to make that dream a reality. This year, I have the privilege to witness both sides of cancer during my clinical rotations at Hershey Medical Center. When I graduate, I will be a fourth generation nurse in my family, with hopes of becoming a hematology and oncology nurse to fight cancer on the front line. I am inspired by my grandmother's strength and courage, which has left an everlasting mark on my life, my family's life, and the lives of the people who had the honor to meet them. I have watched my family struggle through this evil disease.
I want to dance so no family, especially the families of children, will have to know the word “cancer” as well as my family did.
Within Penn State, there are many different groups of people, but during the 46 hours inside the BJC, Penn State is one. We are all one University fighting for a cure, fighting for the kids.
I want to dance for 46 hours for my family, for other families, and for the kids!
Growing up is a beautiful thing. Let’s fight for it.
Join me and Alana in our commitment to turn childhood dreams into reality by supporting THON. This year, I am taking action by uniting with 16,500 student volunteers and over 25,000 alumni supporters in the fight against childhood cancer. Our year-long efforts culminate in a 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon each February to celebrate our survivors, remember those we’ve lost, and take a stand--all in hopes of one day dancing in celebration of a cure.
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. It is my hope that one day, every child will have the opportunity to live out their dreams.
Since 1977, THON has raised over $157 million for Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital, providing comprehensive care for 4,000 families and fund critical research to take our fight beyond central Pennsylvania and spread hope around the world. We work year-round to provide both financial and emotional support for our families, ensuring that they never have to face cancer alone.
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.