Monday, February 24, 2014


My best friend KW and I throwing up our diamonds during the last 3 hours of THON.
At Penn State, we have a dance maraTHON (THON for short) to help raise money for pediatric cancer and the Four Diamonds Fund. We raise money all year through canning, thonvelopes, events like Mr. Engineer (I was chair for that), and many other ways, all for the kids. In February, it culminates in a 46 hour, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon.

Quick Dictionary of THON:
canning- we stand outside a store with a coffee can, asking for change
thonvelopes - we send out envelopes decorated with love and stickers to solicit donations
dancer - someone who stands for all 46 hour - there were 704 of them this year
stands - we all stand in the stadium supporting those who are dancing and the children and families who come to get love and support
thon family- a family assigned to an org that has a kid battling cancer or is in remission
BJC- Bryce Jordan Center - where THON is held
Four Diamonds Fund - 96% of proceeds from THON go to the charity which does research and pays for everything that a Four Diamonds kid needs to get better like medicine, scans and the chemo drugs
Family hour- the families share their stories, we meet every family and then a family who lost a child tells us their story and we watch a video about all the Four Diamonds kids who did not make it
FTK, FTC- For The Kids, Find the Cure or Fight the Cancer
Line Dance - Dance done 46 times to stretch out the dancers and the people in the stands; includes pop culture and current music
Pep Rally- Penn State's athletic teams perform choreographed dances and the winner gets bragging rights for the next year

Every year, I attend it and it gets better and better every year. My two organizations or orgs, National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Women Engineers, raise money for THON and we stood in the stands together this year. I was there for 24 hours straight and it was rough. I always remember that it is less pain than the pain the kids with cancer have to deal with everyday. My heels were on fire and my knees were mad at me by the end but I had to support my friends and the kids. Sitting down at the end was a very glorious thing. The Line Dance was a great way to stretch out and also be silly every hour! It's hard to learn but by the end of THON - I always seem to have it down. Maybe because I did it over 25 times in a row? :P

SWE has two THON families: Jhonen Sullivan Family and the Aidan Roth Family. Jhonen is only 5 and he is a crazy awesome little kid. He played with our org in the stands with water guns and swords. Aidan is 19 and he has been cancer free for a long time now. It's great to see him all grown up and he's a ton of fun to be around :]

 The SWE dancers, Sarah and Kaylyn did an awesome job. It's not easy at all to dance! Sarah even got engaged at THON this year. Her boyfriend at the time asked us to hold up signs that spelled out "Sarah, will you marry me?" She said yes! See pictures and the story Onward State wrote here!

The Pep rally this year was awesome. The teams really brought it. My freshman year, the men's gymnastics team won and they spelled put FTK with their bodies! Last year, the men's swimming team won and they also won again this year! I put the video below of their awesome performance and here's the link to all the other teams' performances.

Family hour was a tough one this year. Because I had been awake almost 24 hours at that point, I was overly emotional this year. I am not one to shed a tear but I was crying this year. It is so raw to lose and child and I admire the families who can share their stories with us. WE all THON so that we can one day dance in celebration of a cure.

THIS YEAR WE RAISED 13.3 MILLION FOR THE KIDS. This is the highest we have ever made. To date, Penn State has given over 115 million for the kids. It's amazing what a school can do to help and when we combine our efforts with people who donate outside of Penn State, the Four Diamonds Fund is doing big things. Hersey Medical Center gets a big share of the money and they do a ton of research to find better ways to fight cancer and getting closer to the cure. I know in the past couple years, Hersey has come up with new ways to fight cancer that used to be fatal or very hard to recover from in children. I'm excited to see what they can do with 13.3 million this year.

I love THON and I cannot wait to get more involved with our THON family next year and do more for THON. FTK!

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