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Gavin Howe in Remission One Day After THON

Saturday afternoon: THON child Gavin Howe is still in the hospital after receiving a chemotherapy treatment on Tuesday. He and his family are unsure if they will even be able to make it to their first THON as a Four Diamonds family.

Monday afternoon: Gavin Howe is in remission, less than 24 hours after the end of THON 2013.

At age six, Gavin was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia, a cancer that affects the white blood cells that support one’s immune system. Just weeks before THON 2013, as they watched Gavin’s battle with cancer, the Howe’s were accepted as a Four Diamonds Family, assigned to Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Theta Delta Chi fraternity.

After Gavin was miraculously discharged from the hospital on Saturday, the family headed straight to the Bryce Jordan Center to experience their first THON.

“They were a little shy at first, but they absolutely loved it. We were playing with Gavin’s siblings, Jacoby and Zoey, just making them laugh and playing with balloons and toys,” said Family Relations Chair Melanie Adelman.

“One of our dancers was really struggling, and just seeing the THON family come down on the floor, everything immediately felt better.”

Despite hearing many things about THON and what it consisted of, the Howe family had never actually witnessed the sea of Nittany Lion dancers packed into the Jordan Center; it came as a shock.

Gavin’s mother continually thanked the dancers and explained that it was really a surprise to see how much the college students really cared about not only raising money, but the connections made with their families.

Yet after such a wonderful night as THON first-timers, the Howe family still had reality to attend to: a trip back to the hospital on Monday.

Little did they know, it would be the cherry on top to conclude the weekend. Gavin was confirmed as in remission and would receive no further chemotherapy treatments. Alpha Delta Pi and Theta Delta Chi raised $131, 341.43 and earned a top ten earner’s spot in the Greek life category.

The dancers sat after 46 hours. In less than 24, Gavin Howe was already beating cancer.

“There are like a million people in here!” Gavin said as he gazed at the colorful crowd Saturday night.

Not quite a million, but all dancing FTK.

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About the Author

Rachel Chernaskey

Sophomore at Penn State; Journalism Major and Double minor in Psychology and Italian; Former track and field varsity athlete. I love all food and Kid Cudi.


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