Location: State College, PA
Connection to Four Diamonds: My child Isabella is 15 and has been a Four Diamonds child since 2003. We have attended THON as a family for the past 13 years. I am also a Penn State alum and was a THON volunteer as an athletic training student back when THON was held in the White Building.
Years of Involvement: 1988 - 1990, student volunteer; 2004 - present a Four Diamond family
How are/were you involved with Four Diamonds and THON?
We have been a Four Diamonds family since 2004. My daughter is now nearly 9 years cancer free following two bouts with leukemia and a bone marrow transplant. We attend THON every year as a family and continue to see benefits of Four Diamonds as she continues to have follow up appointments and continues to deal with secondary effects from her treatment.
Why is the partnership between Four Diamonds and THON important?
THON has given legs to Four Diamonds, which enable it to provide the services that they do to the numbers of families over the years. It has also provided specialists for patient care that otherwise may not be available, as well as researchers to continue finding new and better ways to treat our kids. In those respects, THON is saving lives through this partnership with Four Diamonds by allowing greater numbers of children to be impacted.
What is your dream for Four Diamonds and THON over the next 40 years?
My dream is obviously a cure for childhood cancer and for cancer in general. My hopes are that one day we will understand this disease enough to prevent it or cure it easily when one is diagnosed. Even though survivorship is increasing, the secondary effects and scars that these children are left with are still devastating. I dream that one day we can prevent those and find ways to restore a normal life to those that have been affected.