by Scott Katherine

Written by Lily Persio and Sydney Breitkreutz 

As THON™ Weekend 2024 approached this year, THON Captains were able to hang out in the Teen Lounge with teenaged Four Diamonds family members. The importance of having casual time with our Four Diamond Families helps us put a face to the stories we hear throughout the year. Events like this let them know we are here for them emotionally and financially. Captain and teen interactions are truly special because of age and reliability. The conversations are normal and refreshing, and there is a deeper level of connection between the two.  These children touch the lives around them, and it is our job to connect and spread their stories around the country.  

We had the chance to talk to Vraj Patel, a Public Relations Captain who was one of the lucky ones to hang out with these awesome teens. Vraj is a Graphic Design Captain, which works on all the promotional content that goes up on all social media before, during and after this weekend. His work can be displayed over Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms. Although he has been to THON in prior years, this is his first year as a volunteer, and he said, he “is seeing THON through a new lense, and it is inspiring and motivating.”  

Although his time with the teens did not affect directly to graphic design, he said “it affected him on why he THONs.”  The children are the reason for THON, so it is worth it for them to feel involved and welcomed with our participates is so important. From his experience, hanging with the teens, he said it makes him want to “do his job better.”  The best part about his time was getting to hang out with the kids casually, playing games, and having fun.  

Patel ends the interview by expressing his passion for THON. As a member of a family that has lost family members to cancer, he never wants any parent or child to hear the words “you have cancer.” With all the effort that goes into this weekend, he loves to see the impact it has on the families and know that he contributed to that impact in some way.  

THON Weekend was “hands down the best weekend ever,” according to Patel. And most of us can agree that this weekend is inspiring and an amazing experience. The cause unites us all together, and this weekend we stand together for the fight of childhood cancer. For The Kids®. 

Featured Image: Kiley Canimore | THON™ Photography