Posts tagged ‘Four Diamonds’

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.

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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

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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

Four Diamonds celebrates 40-year partnership with THON

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Charles and Irma Millard

By Ashley Davidson

When Penn State students hit the dance floor for THON this Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Bryce Jordan Center, they’ll celebrate the culmination of a year-long fundraising effort that’s expected to raise millions of dollars — and mark the 40th anniversary since THON named Four Diamonds its sole beneficiary. But it’ll be an exceptionally bittersweet moment for Four Diamonds’ founders Charles and Irma Millard, who can’t believe how far the partnership has come.

They founded Four Diamonds in 1972 after their 14-year-old son, Christopher, lost his three-year battle with cancer at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. (Read more about the history of Four Diamonds here.) Five years later, Four Diamonds forged the relationship with THON (formally called the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon), which catapulted the organization’s fundraising efforts and ultimately grew it into the nationally recognized philanthropy it is today. (more…)

February 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm 1 comment

Pediatric survivorship program provides support after treatment

Penn State Hershey program is supported by Four Diamonds.

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An event on Feb. 21 brought the excitement of Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) to Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. The THON Reveal Party in the Tree House Café coincided with the final moments of the 46-hour dance marathon. Those moments included the final “reveal” that the latest effort had raised $9.8 million for Four Diamonds, whose mission is to conquer childhood cancer. One of the programs supported by Four Diamonds is the pediatric cancer survivorship clinic.

Each year, as the rate of children cured from pediatric cancers increases, so does the need for ongoing care of the young survivors.

Six years ago, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital started a survivorship clinic to educate children and young adults who have completed their cancer treatments about the therapy they received and possible late-arriving side effects of it.

“Most of the time, therapy-related complications happen several years after therapy is finished, when they are young adults,” said Dr. Smita Dandekar, head of the program. That’s why children are invited to the program at least five years after their original diagnosis, and at least two years after they have completed their treatments.

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February 22, 2016 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

‘Four Diamonds is absolutely instrumental for testing novel ideas’

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Four Diamonds support brings new pediatric cancer researchers to Penn State College of Medicine

Editor’s Note: Penn State’s THON Weekend is Feb. 19-21. Students will dance for 46-hours to support pediatric cancer patients. To date, $127 million has been raised and donated to Four Diamonds, a foundation that supports the families of pediatric patients at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, and the cancer research done here. For more information on THON, or to watch the activities live, visit THON.org. For more information on Four Diamonds, visit FourDiamonds.org.

Their journeys started halfway around the world, but their shared passion for uncovering the causes of pediatric cancer brought them to Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Wei Li is originally from Peking, China, and Dr. Vladimir Spiegelman is originally from Moscow. Now both are in Hershey, through funding from Four Diamonds, working to understand how pediatric cancers develop in the hopes of discovering new lifesaving therapies.

Dr. Li, assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, came from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. Spiegelman, Pan Hellenic Dance Marathon Endowed Chair in Pediatric Oncology and professor in the Department of Pediatrics, was most recently at University of Wisconsin.

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February 16, 2016 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

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