Redefine The Possibilities

By Rachel Gluck, Director of Philanthropy

Tomorrow 711 students will stand for 46 hours to help in the fight against pediatric cancer.

THON, the largest student run philanthropy, culminates each February in a no-sitting no-sleeping dance marathon every February. THON has raised over $101 million dollars for the fight against pediatric cancer.

PRSSA has the honor of supporting two families who had to overcome the obstacle of pediatric cancer, The Colleen Scott Family and The Emily Whitehead Family.thon2013

The Scott’s have been paired with PRSSA since 2005 and The Whitehead’s since 2010. Our relationship with these two families is something that is very unique and special to our organization.

The Whitehead’s only live about 30 minutes from State College, which allows our members to spend a lot of time with them. It is quite common for our members to visit them weekly a their house to play with Emma. Being able to visit them so often allows Kari and Tom Whitehead to take some time to themselves while we get to be kids and play with 8-year-old Emma.

Whether we are having a dance party, playing Barbie’s or enjoying a slumber party we are certainly never bored. Since 2010 we have been by Tom, Kari and Emma’s side. We have been through it all. We have seen the up’s and down’s. We have cried and laughed together. We came together when there was nothing left to do but pray for a miracle.

That miracle happened when Emma beat the odds and was announced cancer free in May 2012. It is a moment that PRSSA and myself will never forget.

Alumni and current members know these two families are in our life forever. They have impacted our lives in ways that no words could ever explain well enough. They are our second families that have been kind enough to open their homes and hearts to us.

Even though the Scott’s live about two hours away, we don’t let that stop us from keeping a special bond. We are always trying to think of creative and fun ways to stay connected with them. We send hand written cards often from different members, we send packages for different holidays, and when we can plan visits for dinner or bowling.

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