THON 101: Family Hour
Family Hour is without a doubt the saddest part of the otherwise joyful THON, but it’s one of the most essential. Last year, Onward State’s own Stefan Choquette explained it to me best: “Such a tear jerker. If you’re not a waterfall by the end of it, you’re a robot.”
Family Hour starts at about the forty-fifth hour, when Four Diamonds families are invited up on stage to share their emotional stories with the crowd. Some parents share stories of their children’s journeys battling their cancer, eventually triumphing over the disease in the end. But some don’t. Regardless of how the story ends, hearing all the details of the ordeals that pediatric cancer puts families through is just gut-wrenching.
It’s not the most enjoyable part of thon per se, but it’s absolutely necessary to even begin to understand the families’ fights, to understand THON. Family Hour is an important, major part of the THON experience, because it’s one that really brings together the whole crowd in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Because this is what THON is all about. It’s a reminder of why we’re all here, why we’ve raised this eye-boggling amount of money, and most importantly, that because of all our dedication, one day we will no longer need Family Hour; there will be no more sad stories to tell.