Community Giving · Motivation · Uncategorized

Cancer: Reflection and Hope

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This week is particularly one that is reflective for me because it has a sad theme of cancer surrounding it. Sunday night I heard of an old acquaintance who passed after a long, painful battle with cancer, and he was only 27 years old. This deeply saddened me, as I knew he was once close to a dear friend of mine, and I was worried about her, but it also reminded me of our own mortality. As we spoke on the phone I asked how it is that we are so lucky? Cancer, as it has proven time and time again, has no M.O. It doesn’t target a specific person, nor are there many indications of who will and who won’t have it. Of course there are preventive measures for some cancers, but many creep into individuals lives, completely unexpectedly, and face them with the most challenging battle they will ever fight in.

This lead me to think about my amazing friend, Moira, who was taken from us a year ago, having suffered from many forms of cancer at once. Again, a beautiful, driven young woman, who never expected the disease and one day was hit with the most terrifying news of her life. After a long, painful and trying battle, we said goodbye to Moira last March and it was the first time I was personally affected by losing someone close to me with the disease. It’s painful to think about even now, because the beautiful memories and great times you had, are jaded by a bitterness that you feel for that person being taken so soon.

And the positive way to look at this is that these people are brought into our lives for a special purpose. We learn from them, love them, and now know what it’s like to care for someone so deeply that it hurts you to watch them suffer, and then sadly, pass away. I believe that Moira made me a better person, and that my friendship with her is something I will keep with me always and treasure.

I have known from a young age just how brutal cancer can be, as it has taken distant relatives and even found its way to my parents, who amazingly were able to beat it and are now healthy and cancer free. This is where my passion comes with volunteering and working with many cancer organizations. This is where my inspiration for THON came in, and how it literally SAVES the lives of children with cancer (thank you Penn State). In addition to this organization there is Relay for Life, American Cancer Society, St Jude’s, Target House, etc. which I like to stay closely involved with and support. These organizations raise millions of dollars a year and help fund treatments, support and research to one day DEFEAT cancer, so it can no longer take the ones we love away from us.

Cancer makes me appreciate life and those who were brought into it, even if it was for a short time. I know that I’m honoring Moira, my parents and those who have fought by continuing to fight for them; for a cure. That being said, cancer needs to end. The continued support we all give is what has the power to make it go away. I live for the day when cancer is one of those diseases that WE found a cure for, and that no one loses their life to anymore. For our kids, grand kids, the future… I hope it’s an old, distant memory that they never have to know the wrath of.

With a heavy heart this week,

Aurora

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Community Giving · Goals · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Uncategorized

2014 UPDATE! Redefine Th Possibilities! THON- Inspire Tomorrow’s Miracles

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UPDATE!!!!!:::: THE 2014 THON TOTAL IS::::: 13,343,517.33!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!! FTK!!!!

The picture you see above is remarkable. Yes, the scene itself is colorful and the room is massive, but, there is more to this picture than what meets the eye, especially if you yourself have never been to THON. So what is THON?

The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, THON, is a two-day Dance Marathon that takes place every February at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park with the purpose of raising money to combat pediatric cancer. It was started in 1973 by the university’s Interfraternity Council, and in its first year, more than $2,000 was raised, with 39 couples dancing for 30 hours straight. Today, it is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, by involvement and revenue with $10,686,924.83 having been raised at the 2012 event. The money that is raised is donated to The Four Diamonds Fund, a charity devoted to defeating pediatric cancer through research and caring for patients at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. More than 15,000 students get involved in the event each year, organizing it and raising funds with the rallying cry, “FOR THE KIDS!”.

Above all, THON is a movement and a commitment that we will find a cure for cancer and together, there’s no limit to what we can do. THON is a large group of driven students who are loving beyond themselves and are standing up for life. They’re standing up to cancer and telling it that it has met it’s match. I had the honor in 2008 to be a dancer in THON and it has changed my life. I danced 46 hours straight, no sitting or sleeping, in support of our THON child, Jason Swope. Jason’s battle with cancer was a long, uphill battle, and so I was honored to represent him and his amazing family THON weekend and ultimately, my entire time at Penn State (and beyond).

The bonds I created and the amazing people I met because of THON is something I will be forever thankful for. When you have such a positive force in your life, you cherish it and want to pass it forward to others. I encourage you, strongly, to visit THON.org and webcast.thon.psu.edu/ and become inspired!! The students of Penn State have it figured out. When given the opportunity to influence the life of another, seize the moment. You get out of life what you put in it.

To all THON dancers, I’m so proud, and commend all that you’re doing this weekend, and the year round efforts you put in to make this event as successful as it is. YOU ARE Penn State! For The Kids, For Life, Until we find a cure, we dance.

For the Kids,

Aurora

Stay tuned to find out the total for this year!!!!!!!!! Coming to you at 4:00 pm today!!!!!

AHHHH! This just in!!!!!! THON raised 12.3 Million this year!!!!!!!! Amazing!!!!!!! Fight on State!!!!

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