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Staying Motivated in the 17th Hour

It’s the 17th hour in the BJC, and from the looks of it, it’s filled with energy and enthusiasm in the stands and on the floor. That being said, I know there are parts of the BJC that we can’t see from inside of THON, and I know there are some committee members that have shifts in places where there isn’t much going on, and times where standing just doesn’t sound so appealing anymore.

This is my second year on a THON committee, and I know there are times it’s hard to remember why standing and staring at a door (if you’re on R&R) for hours at a time helps benefit the kids, or why whether or not you stand up or sit down in the stands will make a difference. The more tired you are, the harder it is to remember just why that is.

But stop thinking that. Right now. While your feet are killing you and you can barely keep your eyes open, remember why you’ve done what you’ve done all year and never underestimate your effect,

Throughout the year, my passionate captain has sent our committee inspirational quotes and stories, including some from Four Diamonds Families, to help us remember how amazing what we’re doing is, and these have really helped me get through the 16 hours so far. They may help you too.

1. “Children with cancer are like candles in the wind who accept the possibility that they are in danger of being extinguished by a gust of wind from nowhere and yet, as they flicker and dance to remain alive, their brilliance challenges the darkness and dazzles those of us who watch their light.”

2. “What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” – John Green

3. “Even after all this time, the sun never says to the Earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.” – Hafiz

4. “I understand that each and every one of you, the dancers that vie for the coveted position, get your inspiration from these children, but I am telling you right now, that you give these families and these children inspiration as well. You inspire them to live each moment as though it could be their last, which is how we try to live our daily lives. And the joy that you bring to each and every one of the kids fighting cancer, their brothers, their sisters, their mothers, their fathers, grandparents, cousins, friends… is irreplaceable.” –Kate Tuckey, Four Diamonds Family

5. ‎”Happiness is not a limited resource. When we devote our energy and time to trivial matters, and choose distress over things that ultimately are insignificant, from that point we perpetuate our own sadness and lose sight of the things that really make us happy, and rationalize our way out of doing amazing things.” -Christopher Aiff

6. “You showed us that it wasn’t just us versus cancer all by ourselves. You held out your hand and said, ‘It is okay. You are with family now.’ I want to thank every single student that has ever participated in THON for being selfless, giving and good to total strangers.”

7. “When I see PSU students in intersections and outside of local area businesses with THON collection cans I am moved to tears.  I wish I could be at the Bryce Jordan Center and hug every single one of you and THANK YOU for the love that you share with families like mine.” – Kevin Burke, from a comments section of

8.“You showed us that it wasn’t just us versus cancer all by ourselves. You held out your hand and said, “It is okay. You are with family now.” I want to thank every single student that has ever participated in THON for being selfless, giving and good to total strangers.”

9. “What Penn State and YOU do on THON weekend is so much then just raising millions of dollars, it is showing families that someone out there cares and will do anything-dance silly in the middle of the basketball court after a game with your child, put you on their shoulders and run you around, make you smile when you are down, make you laugh when nothing else in the world can, stand on their feet for complete strangers for 46 straight hours to make a difference. You give families hope that anything is possible, that the miracle they are so longing for may actually come true and most of all, you give them a reason to go on every single day.” – Crystal Bryan, Four Diamonds Family

Good luck, Penn State, and keep doing what you’re doing!

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About the Author

Bailey Siegel

Bailey is a Public Relations major and Psychology and Sociology minor from right outside Washington D.C. with a passion for Penn State Football and good music.

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