Giving back to those who helped
February 19. 2013 1:09AM
Twenty-two-year-old Carey will participate in the Penn State THON for the seventh time this weekend.
THON is a dance marathon that raises money for the pediatric cancer support organization, the Four Diamonds Fund, associated with the Penn State Hershey Children‚??s Hospital.
Carey is going to dance with Women‚??s Club Basketball this year ‚?? the same organization that danced in her honor when she was a 15-year-old battling non-Hodgkin‚??s lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the lymph glands and bone marrow.
The Four Diamonds Fund has a program called Adopt-a-Family, which pairs families dealing with pediatric cancer with organizations participating in THON.
Organization members meet with the family throughout the year, scheduling fun events and providing emotional support.
A former Lake-Lehman basketball player, Carey was paired with Penn State Women‚??s Club Basketball when she was undergoing treatments.
Her family was ‚??adopted‚?Ě by the organization for three years, until she became a student at Penn State University.
‚??It was a really, really neat thing to have a special bond with them,‚?Ě said Carey. ‚??They really did become part of our family and supported me after my treatment. Two summers ago I attended the wedding of one of the girls so it just shows you how close we actually were.‚?Ě
This year, Carey is dancing for the Trimble family, which the basketball club adopted two years ago. Ella Trimble finished her last round of chemotherapy last year.
‚??(Ella Trimble) was so little when she went through treatments, but I hope she will remember memories of things she did at THON, like having fun with her brother and all the other kids,‚?Ě said Carey. ‚??THON does bring good memories with having cancer.‚?Ě
Ella Trimble is 4 years old and she was last treated in October for Acute-Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Carey said she hopes she can have an effect on other families like those who supported her when she was battling the disease.
‚??It‚??s something I always think about, that my battle is mostly over, but there are still kids who are diagnosed every day and families still have to hear that their child has cancer at the Hershey Medical Center and throughout the world,‚?Ě said Carey. ‚??This is about what we can do as students to financially help them, and what we can do to help them become survivors.‚?Ě
Carey‚??s first THON experience in 2006 was one she‚??ll never forget.
‚??It was one of the coolest, most overwhelming experiences,‚?Ě she said. ‚??There were so many colors and people everywhere, and it was also amazing to know there was such a big group of students coming together for a good cause.‚?Ě
After she graduates, Carey hopes to continue participating in THON and other activities related to the Penn State Hershey Children‚??s Hospital for years to come.
‚??I want to actually become a physician‚??s assistant and work with kids and families who are going through what I went through,‚?Ě she said. ‚??I also want to stay involved with THON ‚?? I‚??ll donate every year and come back as much as I can to support the students and families I‚??ve gotten to know.‚?Ě