Four Diamonds logo Penn State Hershey logo
Josiah, 10

Cancer kills more children in the U.S. than any other disease.

Four Diamonds is on a mission to change this reality.

What Is 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.

Each year, Four Diamonds provides direct support to approximately 600 children with cancer – 100 who are newly diagnosed and 500 who are continuing their fight. Four Diamonds covers 100 percent of all medical expenses related to cancer care not covered by insurance for qualifying Four Diamonds children. 

Because of the community's steady and generous support, Four Diamonds has been able to assist 100 percent of the childhood cancer patients who have been treated at Penn State Children's Hospital. 

Since its creation in 1972, Four Diamonds has helped more than 3,700 children and families and supported a diverse platform of childhood cancer research at Penn State Children's Hospital, seeking improved treatments and cures to benefit those around the world.

Once again, Penn State Children's Hospital was recognized as one of the top 50 hospitals in the nation for childhood cancer care. The Children's Hospital was also recognized for five other specialties in U.S. News & World Report's 2016-17 rankings.

Meet our Four Diamonds families and join the fight to conquer childhood cancer.

our history


Sir Millard

Christopher Millard

Christopher Millard was 11 years old when he was first diagnosed with cancer. Shortly before he lost his three-year battle with cancer, he wrote a story about a great knight who sought out the four diamonds of Courage, Wisdom, Honesty and Strength, in order to be released from the grips of an evil sorceress. These diamonds symbolized the attributes that Chris believed were necessary to overcome cancer. Read Chris' story.

Four Diamonds is Founded

Charles and Irma Millard

In honor of their son, Christopher's parents, Charles and Irma Millard, founded Four Diamonds to assist children and their families in their fight against childhood cancer. Through Four Diamonds, Chris Millard and his legendary story live on and serve as a beacon of hope for children and their families fighting cancer.

We Become Partners In The Fight

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterFour Diamonds and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center entered into a charter with the mission of conquering childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Children’s Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research.



Four Diamonds and the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THONTM) united FTK®​ - For The Kids when THONTM named Four Diamonds the beneficiary of all fundraising activities. To date, THONTM has raised more than $136 million in the fight to conquer childhood cancer.  

We Inspire, Empower, and Activate

Today, Four Diamonds inspires, empowers and activates youth and young adults in the
fight to conquer childhood
cancer. Since its
creation in 1972, Four Diamonds has helped
more than 3,600 children and families and
supported a diverse platform of childhood
cancer research at Penn State Children’s Hospital, seeking improved treatments
and cures to benefit those around the world.

four diamonds FINANCIALS

About the Financials

All of our work is FTK® - For The Kids. Four Diamonds remains committed to helping improve the health and lives of children fighting cancer today, and those who will fight in the future.

Your Donation At Work

Four Diamonds is fiscally strong, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of individual donors, community events, Mini-THON® and THONTM. Four Diamonds has been able to assist 100 percent of the childhood cancer patients who have been treated at Penn State Children’s Hospital.

Your donation at work

Powering Our Fight

Kids Helping Kids

Inspired and empowered, during the 2014-2015 school year more than 30,000 students from 188 elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges joined our fight by coordinating a Four Diamonds Mini-THON® in their school. Together, these students raised more than $4.3 million for Four Diamonds. For a complete list of participating schools, click here.

To start a Mini-THON® at your school, please e-mail or call 717-531-6086.

$9.77 Million

In 2016, Penn State students raised $9,770,332.32 in the fight to conquer childhood cancer.  THONTM, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, has raised $136 million to support Four Diamonds since 1977.​

Visit to learn more about this incredible fundraiser FTK® - For The Kids! 

Relationship to Penn State and Other Brands 

In 1963, The M.S. Hershey Foundation donated $50 million to The Pennsylvania State University to establish a medical school in Hershey. With this grant and $21.3 million from the U.S. Public Health Service, the University built a medical school, research center and teaching hospital—Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The University broke ground in 1966, and Penn State College of Medicine opened its doors to students in 1967. Penn State Hershey Medical Center accepted its first patients in 1970.

Since then, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Children's Hospital are committed to enhancing the quality of life through improved health, the professional preparation of those who will serve the health needs of others and the discovery of knowledge that will benefit all.

Four Diamonds is an integral part of the delivery of this mission, providing financial support to ensure superior care and comprehensive support to childhood cancer patients and their families, and funding innovative research to learn how childhood cancer forms, how it can be treated and how treatments can be more effective to benefit those around the world. Additionally, Four Diamonds’ commitment to youth leadership and philanthropy through Mini-THON®  and THONTM are helping to build future leaders, scientists, medical professionals and philanthropists committed to one common goal: conquering childhood cancer.

four diamonds Advisory Board

Four Diamonds engages members of the community to serve on an Advisory Board to provide support and advice. Members of the Advisory Board are committed to helping advance our mission to conquer childhood cancer.

Hummelstown, PA

York, PA

Port Townsend, WA
Lancaster, PA
Camas, WA
Millersburg, PA
Hershey, PA
Hershey, PA
Hoboken, NJ
Mount Pleasant, SC
Hershey, PA
Hershey, PA
Grantville, PA
State College, PA
Harrisburg, PA
Harrisburg, PA


Faculty and Staff Members with Vote

BARBARA E. OSTROV, M.D.  Professor, and Interim Chair
Department of Pediatrics 
Pediatrician and Chief, Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital 
BARBARA A. MILLER, M.D.  Chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Vice Chairman for Research, Department of Pediatrics
Christopher Millard Chair for Pediatric Oncology Research

Chief, Network Development Officer
Penn State Health


The External Scientific Advisory Board provides peer review for our cancer research.


Professor and Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Department of Pediatrics
Stanford University School of Medicine
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford

Stanford University School of Medicine
CCSR 1215C
269 Campus Drive
Stanford, CA 94305-5162 


Sharon Murphy-Steven Rosen Professor of Cancer Biology and Chemotherapy
Director, Pediatric Drug Development Center
Director, Bone Marrow Failure and Myelodysplastic Clinic
Co-director, Pediatric Hematology/oncology/stem Cell Transplant Fellowship
Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Departments of Pediatrics and Cell & Molecular Biology

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Lurie 5-107
303 E. Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611



four diamonds Staff

Meet Our Four diamonds Families

Childhood cancer doesn't discriminate. It impacts children and families in your own area, across the country and around the world.

Each year, more than 13,400 families in the United States hear these devastating words: "Your child has cancer." Hundreds of families turn to Penn State Children's Hospital, a nationally recognized leader in pediatric cancer care, to provide life-saving medical treatment for their children. Four Diamonds makes it possible for all of these children to receive the exceptional care they need regardless of the cost. 

Meet some of our incredible Four Diamonds families...

The Lydia hess Family           The Olivia Lynch Family          The Trey fry family story          the josiah garcia family story

The Sarah Park Family

The AJ Bobby Family

The Justin Kaufman Family


The Teddy Morton Family

The Bryan Weinshemier Family

The Austin Lightner Family



#PartnersInTheFight to conquer childhood cancer

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