Water Polo Teams Celebrate THON Child’s Final Chemotherapy Treatment
2015 marks the water polo club’s third year with its THON child, Brittany Wagner — and its members could not be happier.
The team actually first met its THON family three years ago while canning. “We were looking to be paired with a family at that time, so it felt like fate,” says team captain Shannon Harrop.
Brittany is 13 and has truly enjoyed being paired with the water polo team. She just recently finished her last treatment of chemotherapy in December, so the team is pumped. They’re excited this weekend to dance for not only the other children fighting cancer, but also to celebrate Brittany’s successful treatment.
Because water polo is not a sport offered at most high schools, many members of the team are fairly new to the sport, and have grown to love it. “I just recently started water polo here at Penn State,” Harrop said. “It was new to me, but I instantly loved it.”
However, for a few others, water polo has been part of their lives for as long as they can remember. “I grew up in Newport Beach California, so outdoors sports and activities like water polo were the norm. I came to Penn State to experience something new, and I’m glad I did,” said Paisley Muller, senior captain for the women’s team.
Whether being a dedicated water polo player or new to the team, that doesn’t change the close bond and friendship this team has. “The girls and boys teams go canning together, and get along really well,” said Jacob Sisko. When they were first paired with the Wagner family for THON was when the bond really grew. “Both teams sit in the stands together and cheer on our two members dancing. So far, it’s been a blast!”
In addition to canning, the water polo team has held a fundraiser called the Jon Quigley memorial tournament in the Natatorium. This event is a “swim-off” competition between the current water polo team and their alumni. This year, Brittany was the first to jump into the pool, and proudly kicked off the event. The event brought families and friends together, and ultimately raised $3,000 for THON.
Overall, the teams have been thankful to work with such an amazing family.
“Brittany is awesome and always has so much energy whenever we see her. She is already in love with Penn State and wants to come here,” Harrop said.
After this exciting THON weekend, I don’t think Brittany will need any more convincing to come to Penn State!