by Molly Ligon

 Written by: Bayla Plower and Sarah Strent

Rhia is on the right and her friend, Keely Reese, an OPP captain, is on the left.
  1. What committee are you a captain for? What is the mission/goal of your committee? 

I am a captain for the Family Relations Committee. The goal of our committee is to work with Four Diamonds families and provide them with wonderful experiences all year round. We work to keep the families at the forefront of THON’s mission and support them in any way possible. Furthermore, we strive to alleviate the family’s worries and help them make happy memories.

  1. What inspired you to be a part of THON? 

My late uncle was integral to my involvement with THON. In 2019, he was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer and passed away in May 2022. He was a father figure to me and always worked to support me and make me laugh. I knew I could rely on him and he made every day better with his positive attitude. After seeing him go through chemotherapy and ultimately losing him, I knew I wanted to get involved and prevent any pain or sadness families go through. I loved to sit with him and play silly, little games after rough games and I want to do the same for the Four Diamonds families. Also, my aunt and cousins received so much outside love and I saw the impact it made on their family. I want to do the same and make families smile or laugh when times are tough. Support and love creates such a difference and I want to be there for all families.

  1. How would you describe your committee in three words? 

Loving, Kind, Generous

  1. What is your favorite part about being a THON captain?  

My favorite part of being a THON Captain is interacting with the Four Diamonds families. I love playing with the children at THON events and talking to the parents. It is so impactful everytime a Four Diamonds family shares their story and I am so grateful for their willingness to share their experiences with us. Nothing compares to seeing a child smile and have fun after knowing all they have endured. I love working with the families and creating a positive environment where they can relax and forget their struggles.

  1. What are your aspirations for THON this upcoming year?  

My aspirations for THON this year is to help all the Four Diamonds families in any way possible and fundraise to the best of my ability for a cure. I know that cancer is one of the most difficult things a family can go through, so I want to help the family form happy memories and enjoy every experience. Furthermore, I want to facilitate interactions between Four Diamonds Families and THON volunteers. I have seen how integral family pairings are and how both the families and volunteers benefit from their interactions. I have heard from past families how much they love their family pairings and how it can make all the difference knowing there is a group of people out there looking to support you unconditionally. Thus, I want to help with family pairings and provide Four Diamonds families with constant support and love. Also, I aim to fundraise and contribute to THON’s mission to finding a cure and ensuring no family ever has to deal with childhood cancer.