I go to Penn State University and we are home to the largest, student run, philanthropic event in the world. You read that right…the world. The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, otherwise known as THON raises money for research and a whole bunch of other things at Hershey Medical center and the Four Diamonds Fund in support for finding a cure for Pediatric Cancer.
The dance marathon is a 46 hour, no sitting dance marathon. So you go and you don’t sit ever you just dance as we fight for a cure. My friends and I did not go for the whole time, but we stayed there for 26 hours. Imagine being on your feet for that long. I can’t even imagine it and I did it. So imagine being on your feet for 46 hours. That’s what 700 + dancers did this weekend on the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center.
The experience was pretty crazy. The whole atmosphere is exciting, loud, overwhelming, and a little sweaty. But over all of that, the whole energy is positive. People are jumping up and down, singing, dancing, and encouraging everyone to just fight a little longer, stay a little longer, and dance a little longer.
I remember wanting to give up and go home because my body was just so exhausted, my head felt like it was going to fall off my shoulders, and I just wanted to sit down. I even told my friend….I’m leaving. But then I just stayed. I had to. I wanted to see this experience to the end. I love all of my friends who were there with me, because I truly could not of done it without them.
If you’re part of an organization, then you could have a THON child, which is a child part of Four Diamonds Fund and Hershey Medical Center, who has been affected by cancer, either in the past or currently, and you ‘adopt’ them into your organization’s family. So there were kids all over the BJC, how adorable is that. To give those kids just one weekend where they can run around and play and forget how horrible cancer is just for a second. That’s incredible. We honored the kids who fought cancer and won, who are currently fighting cancer, and those who couldn’t be with us anymore. That part broke my heart, that this disease can rob us of children and just of people in general.
THON 2014 was a weekend I wont forget. My feet right now still hurt. My back is so sore. All I want to do is sleep. But it was worth it. Penn State will stop at nothing to find a cure, and during THON weekend, we dance. For The Kids.