The Alison Keim Family
To our THON Directors and Volunteers,
Let me begin by saying CONGRATULATIONS on all your new positions this year and THANK YOU for being willing to pour your heart, soul, and time into this organization this year. We are a veteran family, THON 2017 will be our 7th THON. We were paired with the Kinesiology Club our first year and have requested to be with them every year since! They have given THON a personal touch for us as we have had opportunity to get to know some students very well. We’ve also enjoyed getting to know some Directors and captains throughout the years!!!!!
When Alison was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2008, we had no idea what life would hold for her or us. We were thrown into a new world, one that “only happens to other people” but was suddenly happening to us. Within hours of Alison being admitted to Hershey Med, we were told about 4 Diamonds. The first and only thing I remember the social worker saying that day was, “4 Diamonds will cover ALL of Alison’s treatment, no matter what kind of treatment she needs”. We have never seen a bill for her treatment, NEVER! I can’t even tell you what that meant, and still means, to our family. It gave us the opportunity to focus on Alison and getting her healthy but not having to worry about what it would cost.
As the weeks went by, we became more aware of what else 4 Diamonds entails. The research, the doctors, the child life specialists, the little things like gas and food vouchers, the nurses, the incredible nurses at Hershey that care for our kids. It was overwhelming and humbling to learn all that this incredible organization does for 4 Diamonds families. Becoming a 4 Diamonds family was not one of those things that I had dreamt of for my family. Becoming a 4 Diamonds family means that your child has cancer; it means hearing those words that no parent ever wants to hear; it means having to watch your child endure awful treatments that no child should have to endure. Despite all this, becoming a 4 Diamonds family has been a huge blessing to our family.
Our invitation to THON that very first year, was a great gift! It was as amazing as everyone told us it would be. We were amazed at all that THON had to offer us families. Endless fun for the kids, the opportunity to meet mascots and athletes, be a “star” on stage, have lots of food and snacks whenever the kids were hungry, see other families and 4 Diamonds staff out of the hospital. It was a great weekend! We got to experience it all, including being on the floor with our org for the final 4. I’ll never, ever forget the emotions the encompassed those 4 hours that first year.
We are now looking forward to attending our 7th THON. We’ve experienced THON for years and it’s been amazing each time in different ways. Each year, we leave saying, I cannot believe these students put everything they have into THON for the year and then invite us to THEIR party! Yes, of course it’s our party too, but we didn’t work for any of it. We deserve none of it; we are owed NOTHING just because our daughter had cancer. But we do thank each and every one of you for all that you do for us THON weekend!!!!! THON has outgrown the BJC, as you all know! fh a new year starting, please know that as a veteran family of a child who is now healthy, we will gladly take the back seat so that new families and bereaved families can be on the floor Sunday! We cannot thank you all enough for all you do to raise millions of dollars for the research, support, and treatment that 4 Diamonds provides to families at Hershey!!!!! Please keep up the great work you’re doing, know you’re appreciated and have fun while you’re doing it!!!!! Looking forward to seeing what you all accomplish this year and hope we get to meet many of you!
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!
Kim, Dave, Alison, William and Lauren Keim