In high school, I participated in a dance marathon called MiniTHON and at Ohio State, I participate in BuckeyeThon. Both have the same overarching goal- raising money to find a cure to pediatric cancer. Within both organizations, I have been fortunate enough to work with families that have been impacted by pediatric cancer. Through developing relationships with these families, I found a passion in this cause. I never cease to be amazed when I first meet a new child that is involved with our organization. These children are so tiny and young and have been through more medical treatments in one week than I have been through in my life. Then I meet the siblings of those children, their childhood completely altered by constant hospital visits and the threat of losing their brother or sister. Finally, I talk to the parents who have an unbelievable amount of strength, faith, and hope for their children and their family.
Through this involvement, I have learned about the power of hope, gratefulness, and gratification. I have spent a collective 96 hours at the dance marathons alone, with countless hours of preparation and other events creating cause awareness. Because of the relationships that I have formed, I am always going to strive to put in more time for the kids.. Every year, we are hopeful to raise more money than the previous year, to champion the families participating in our organization, and to eventually put an end to pediatric cancer. However, some of the families I work with have hopes as simple as wishing their child will make it to Christmas time.
This puts my life into a completely different perspective. I am amazed watching these kids interact with others and play games just like the other kids they are with. When I can spend time with them, whether I am planning the event they are attending or just coloring a picture and see a smile on their face, I know that cancer has left their mind for a little while and they are simply enjoying the moment. This is what I look forward to and what continues to drive my passion for this cause.