It’s hard to put into words what I experienced this past weekend. But, here it goes...
We have all been affected by cancer. My first experience with cancer was when my Grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer & lost her fight 7 years ago. My Grandfather was then diagnosed shortly after but, was lucky enough to fight and overcome this, by having one of his lungs removed. I had expected that stuff like this would happen as people started to get older. It wasn’t fair, but I was more at piece knowing that my Grandmother lived a long happy life. This didn’t happen to anyone my age..Right? That was until one of my very dear friends Jackie Fioravanti got diagnosed with a brain tumor. How could this happen? Our biggest concern at this point in our lives was supposed to be finishing up high school and starting our lives in college not fighting for your life. Jackie fought long & hard, but during THON weekend 2013, my freshman year at Penn State Jackie was welcomed with open arms by our lord up in heaven. Jackie changed the way I looked at the world. She was the kindest person I had ever met without a mean bone in her body. Why her? She had so many talents to share with the world. “No child should die in the dawn of life.”
I THON for #teamJacqueline became my drive while raising money for THON up at Penn State. I now knew that cancer didn’t discriminate no matter how old, what race, or how you lived your life. In the blink of an eye everything can change. I knew I had to do everything that I could to help people WAY smarter than me with the funding they needed to find a cure. I participated in the yearlong efforts of THON all 4 years that I attended Penn State.
THON is a student-run philanthropy committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer. THONs mission is to provide emotional and financial support, spread awareness and ensure funding for critical research - all in pursuit of a cure. We celebrate our yearlong efforts with a 46-hour dance marathon that we host every February for the kids and Families affected my childhood cancer.
Leading up to THON was my favorite time of the year. An emotional roller coaster of so many feelings, but mostly an overwhelming sense of hope. The one weekend out of the year where the entire university comes together for one common goal- for the kids, for a cure.
“One Day we will dance in celebration. Until Then, we will dance for a cure.”
I was so lucky to go to a university that did so much for Pediatric cancer and now am lucky enough to work for a company that does the same. Our iHeartRadio country station 95KSJ Participates in a St. Jude Country Cares RadioTHON. Similar to THON weekend up at Penn State it is a two day RadioTHON to raise money for the kids at St. Jude research hospital. We do events all year round (Cruise for St. Jude, St. Jude 5k, Stars with Guitars, & More.) to contribute to our total to give to St. Jude. This year we raised $281,022 for the kid’s at St. Jude.
This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend our Country Cares 2019 Seminar in Memphis, TN. I had no idea what to expect or how I would be affected. We toured the Hospital; we met with families who told their stories- some with good outcomes & others not. But, no matter the outcome of their child they had NOTHING but INCREDIBLE things to say about St. Jude and there life saving efforts to END childhood cancer. I learned more about Danny Thomas’s selfless mission to start a hospital that would help children all over the world. I met amazingly smart & talented people that have devoted their lives to this mission and us radio personalities bounced ideas off of each other on how we can successfully use our voices to help fund this amazing place that is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
No parent ever receives a bill from St. Jude and St. Jude shares ALL of their research with hospitals all around the world so that we can CURE CANCER!
I am over whelmed with joy & hope after this weekend. We are advancing so much in the medical field. There is so much love in the world even if we don’t get to hear or see it every day. I challenge you to dig deep into your pockets and become a partner in hope. Not just for the kids that are fighting the good fight right now, or for those that we have lost, but for your own children or possibly your future children that if you god forbid hear the words “Your child has Cancer” that it is no scarier than having a broken bone, because we have the medical advances because of YOUR donation to defeat cancer. The funding that will insure that you will NEVER see a bill because of St. Jude has you covered. That $20 a month in insurance that if someday you or a love one hears 3 of the scariest words you will ever hear “you have cancer”…that you will be taken care of because of all the hard work that St. Jude does every day.
“Someday God willing, we are going to beat all the odds and make childhood cancer a thing of the past.” –Danny Thomas