Posts tagged ‘Four Diamonds’

In their shoes: pediatric cancer survivors grown up and working “For the Kids”

A young man wearing a button-down shirt with a Hershey Medical Center logo leans over a patient bed and wipes the side rail with a cloth. He is wearing purple gloves. The bed has a Hershey Medical Center logo on the headboard.

Cole Horne, a former Four Diamonds child, cleans a patient bed at Hershey Medical Center.

By Carolyn Kimmel

Cole Horne knows that being diagnosed with Burkett’s Lymphoma at age 6 was a life-changing moment, but his memories are not of the large tumor that had to be removed or the five months of chemotherapy that followed; he remembers the fun.

Yes, the fun.

“When you are in Penn State Children’s Hospital, you don’t even feel like you’re in the hospital. There’s music therapy, pet therapy, bingo,” said Horne, now 20 and cancer-free for 13 years. “Then I began participating in THON when I was 7 until I was 13, and that took my mind off what was going on. Everyone is so happy, and they’re there celebrating you.”

Today this childhood cancer survivor is back at Penn State Health, this time as an employee, drawn back because of the excellent support he and his family received from the staff and Four Diamonds.

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August 7, 2018 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Just dance: Sweat, tears and stretching goes into two students’ journey to THON

By Lisa Maresca

Two students, one female and one male, stand with their backs to the camera, facing an arena full of people. They stand with their hands in the air, making a diamond shape with their fingers.

Emma Dahmus, left, and Clay Cooper look out from the stage during the My Hero Zero concert post-pep rally.

Clay Cooper has been stretching twice a day, every day for the past several weeks. The fifth-year MD/MBA student began running on the treadmill again and got as much sleep as he could.

It’s all part of the preparation for dancing in his first THON.

“I started doing P90X yoga, which is an hour and a half,” added Emma Dahmus, another MD/MBA student and first-year THON dancer. “I also bought compression socks.”

She needed them.

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February 19, 2018 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

Meet the First Four Diamonds Patient: Denise Voloshin

By Marianne Clay

Middle-aged white woman with blonde hair and glasses holds a photo of herself in 1975.

Denise Voloshin, the first Four Diamonds patient, holds a school photo of herself from 1975, the year she was treated for cancer.

Just days before this year’s Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) Weekend Feb.16-18 at University Park, cancer survivor Denise Voloshin marvels at the accomplishments of the world’s largest student-run philanthropy and of its sole beneficiary, Four Diamonds. Since the days when Denise was a patient at Penn State Children’s Hospital, THON has raised nearly $150 million for the work of Four Diamonds.

Like it has since 1977, Four Diamonds will use the millions raised during this year’s THON to provide financial support to pediatric cancer patients and their families at Penn State Children’s Hospital and to fund innovative cancer research.

“The incredible ways THON and Four Diamonds help young cancer patients and their families is nothing short of amazing,” Denise says.

She should know. She was the first “Four Diamond” patient. See photos of Denise as a young girl and today on the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Flickr page.

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February 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm 1 comment

Alex Smith: A Four Diamonds child pays it forward

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Treatment outcomes for children with cancer have made tremendous improvements over the past 50 years, but the reality is one in five children with cancer will die of their disease within five years. Four Diamonds is on a mission to change this reality. Join Four Diamonds as a Partner In The Fight to conquer childhood cancer by raising awareness and taking action. Visit FourDiamonds.org and #GoGoldFTK. Below is Alex’s story and her family’s experience with childhood cancer and how Four Diamonds has helped them.

alex 2

By Jade Kelly Solovey

Aleksandra “Alex” Smith is, in many ways, your typical 14-year-old.

Upon meeting her, you quickly realize that she’s also unique. Alex was adopted from Russia when she was 7 months old and now lives in Carlisle with her parents and little brother.

She is funny and artistic and her mother describes her as delightful, engaging and entertaining. Although she has autism, she is mainstreamed and attends Carlisle Christian Academy.

All of that is part of the uniqueness that makes the avid Hershey Bears fan “Alex.” One thing that really sets Alex apart from her peers is that she is a Four Diamonds child, dealing with pediatric cancer.

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September 13, 2017 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

Pediatric cancer research thriving thanks to Four Diamonds

By Jade Kelly Solovey

While outcomes for children diagnosed with cancer have improved greatly over the past five decades, one-in-five children will still die from their disease. In the United States, more children die from cancer than any other disease.

Investigators at the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center at Penn State Children’s Hospital are working to change that.

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August 16, 2017 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

More than medical needs: Four Diamonds provides social support

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Social worker Greg Baiocchi with Four Diamonds child Colton. (Courtesy of Four Diamonds)

By Jade Kelly Solovey

When a child is first diagnosed with cancer, the family may be scared and wonder how they will make it through. It’s during that time that the dedicated psychosocial team at Penn State Children’s Hospital introduces them to Four Diamonds.

In addition to the financial support offered to families of children with cancer, Four Diamonds provides holistic, family-centered care by addressing not only the physical but also the mental, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families.

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July 19, 2017 at 9:32 am Leave a comment

Gowda receives 2017 Young Investigator Award

Dovat_and_Gowda_in_Lab_03-29-2017_02

Dr. Chadrika Gowda with her mentor, Dr. Sinisa Dovat.

It’s been fewer than four years since Dr. Chandrika Gowda completed her fellowship with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital, but she already has been recognized as one of the nation’s top young medical researchers.

Now an assistant professor of pediatrics at the College of Medicine, Dr. Gowda is a recipient of the prestigious 2017 Young Investigator Award from The American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO), an annual award that recognizes excellence in research in the field. (more…)

April 12, 2017 at 10:14 am Leave a comment

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