A New Year – A New Hope - For The Kids
For most of us, January 1st is a time for resolutions. Whether it be to exercise more, loose weight, or to spend more time with family, each resolution is made with the hope of a new beginning.
But for many children and their families it is simply one more day in the hospital, one more holiday missed at home, one more treatment...
Because of this, for one amazing group of people, January 1st marks 1 month, 1 week and 6 days until they embark on a very special journey. This journey will take them 135 miles through the cold, dark back roads of Central PA as they run, "For The Kids." This journey is The Hope Express.
The Hope Express is much deeper than any words can describe. After all, hope enters the soul from a place of darkness. Childhood cancer is that darkness, which not only ravages the bodies of children, but every physical, mental and financial aspect of their family. It is from that darkness that the Four Diamonds Fund and the Hope Express were created and with them, the belief that childhood cancer can be conquered, the hope that is brought to families, and the generous gifts that have made miracles.
Believe. Hope. Give.
The Four Diamonds Fund: “The Four Diamonds Fund was established by Charles and Irma Millard after the death of their son, Christopher, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 11. The Four Diamonds is named after a story that Chris wrote shortly before he lost his battle with cancer at the age of 14. In Chris’ story, a knight must find the Four Diamonds of Courage, Wisdom, Honesty and Strength in order to be released from captivity by an evil sorceress. These Four Diamonds are symbolic of the traits Chris believed were necessary to overcome cancer.
The Four Diamonds offsets the cost of treatment that insurance does not cover, as well as expenses that may affect the welfare of the child. The Four Diamonds supports the medical team that cares for the children and funds pediatric cancer research through start-up grants and the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Institute.” (www.thon.org)
The Hope Express: “The Hope Express is a 135-mile run created to bridge the gap between the families on the 7th floor at the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA and the Dancers at the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (aka THON), a year round fundraising event benefiting The Four Diamonds Fund, Conquering Childhood Cancer” (www.thehopeexpress.org). These runners spread awareness of the Four Diamonds Fund during their 135 miles adventure (or 140 mile for the Extreme Team) before completing their journey by delivering the special messages they carry with them as they run through the mountains of Central PA. These messages of love, hope and appreciation are made for the dancers by the children at Hershey who are too sick to attend THON Weekend. In 2012, The Hope Express, with the support of the family, friends, neighbors and even strangers, raised 75, 000 “For the Kids”
The fight against childhood cancer is a battle bigger than any one of us. But each one of us can do small things that together, will someday soon conquer it all. We just need to believe, have hope and give what we can (time, money, love). There are three simple ways to support The Hope Express and the Four Diamonds Fund.
1. Before The Hope Express leaves Hershey February 14, 2013, we need your support and donations. All donations go to the Four Diamonds Fund and the THON total and will support the groundbreaking cancer research at the Hershey Medical Center and provide financial assistant to families, allowing them to focus on their child’s needs. To give, visit http://www.give2theexpress.org/supporting-hope/ or message me as where to send a check. All donations must be received by February 9th. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a big difference to a family whose child is battling cancer.
2. The Hope Express welcomes inspirational letters, cards, and art for the runners and/or The Hope Express’ Four Diamond children and families. Send emails to email@example.com. Send mail by February 1st, to Hope Express: Letters of Hope c/o The Philadelphia Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association, P.O. Box 22402 – Philadelphia, PA 19110. For more information, contact Christina at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. The easiest and greatest thing you can do is spread the word about The HOPE Express and the Four Diamonds Fund. Share the Four Diamonds Fund and The HOPE Express' websites, Tweet all about it (#135in24FTK), link it, blog about it, Facebook it, Pin it, share, share, share...
Liberty Ball, A Knight For The Kids (Philadelphia’s black tie optional benefit for the Four Diamonds Fund. To find the Gala in your area, click here.)