Dance Marathon to commit $10 million for new pediatric cancer pavilion

The 2004 Overall Committee for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) has announced that THON will commit $10 million over the next six years to create a pediatric cancer pavilion at Children's Hospital at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The pavilion will combine pediatric oncology services into one centralized area. Patients and families who receive support from the Four Diamonds Fund will now be able to receive their care in one area of Children's Hospital.

"THON's commitment to the Four Diamonds patients and families extends beyond one weekend in February. As students, we hope that everything we do makes the lives of the patients and their families better," said Adam Duff, THON 2004 overall chairperson. "The pediatric cancer pavilion is one more way we can extend our support to the families."

The new pavilion will enable the pediatric hematology/oncology staff to provide enhanced care because the facility will be designed to meet the unique needs of pediatric oncology patients.

"The students at Penn State involved with THON continue to impress us with their selfless giving and unending desire to improve the already exceptional support provided to the Four Diamonds patients and their families," said A. Craig Hillemeier, professor and chair, Department of Pediatrics and medical director at Penn State Children's Hospital.

THON is the largest donor to the Four Diamonds Fund at Children's Hospital.

The Four Diamonds Fund provides support to pediatric cancer patients by covering any medical expense that is not paid for by insurance or other means. THON has been supporting the fund since 1977, raising nearly $30 million. In 1999, THON pledged $5 million to create the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research endowment, a pledge completed in 2001.

The mission of the Four Diamonds Fund is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Children's Hospital and their families, through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative pediatric cancer research initiatives. For more information about THON or the fund, contact the Four Diamonds office at (717) 531-6086 or visit


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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