PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



THON, Let’s Talk About Healthcare

by Madeline Nyblade

I am proud to be part of this student body that financially and emotionally supports Four Diamonds Children and their families. From firsthand experience, I know this generosity means the world to these families, especially the life-long relationships with THON orgs. So, it is out of my awe and appreciation for all that these organizations do for families, students, and the community, that I urge THON to go further. I challenge THON to address and discuss the root causes of this philanthropic need: the healthcare system in the United States.

Healthcare policy is incredibly complicated but also vitally important because it influences a family’s ability to pay for their child’s cancer treatment. THON provides financial assistance to families who need additional support, but does not raise the question: Why do we have a system where families struggle to afford the highest quality care for their children? Why, for that matter, do we have a system where people of all ages have trouble paying for the best medical care for themselves and for their loved ones?

I don’t know the answers to these questions and I am not at all suggesting that THON lobby congress to influence health care policy. But I am suggesting that THON generate discussions about national healthcare policy grounded not in partisan politics but in our common value for providing care for children suffering from cancer. Healthcare is a difficult subject, polarized by recent politics, but the need for all children to receive financial and emotional support when faced with pediatric cancer transcends all reasons not to engage in this conversation.

I challenge THON org leaders to facilitate open-minded, informed discussions with their members about healthcare in the United States so students have the opportunity to develop their own opinions. I challenge the THON director to start this conversation through a public forum. I challenge the THON outreach team to not only reach out for donations, but to reach out to representatives and senators to share THON’s core values with respect to healthcare. But most importantly, I challenge everyone involved in THON to consider how the core values of THON translate to what is needed in national healthcare. Perhaps THON could find ways to stimulate helpful dialogue and action on this issue.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Community Content

Content submitted by members of the community not affiliated with Onward State. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of our staff. To have your work published on Onward State, go to


Get notified about breaking news
Loading notification service...
Other posts by Community

Op-Ed: One Year After Our Son’s Hazing Death

“It is important to talk openly about what has transpired this past year, and over many years, and to remind your children that they are important to you. Tell them to take nothing at face value, be cautious, guard against peer pressure.”

College From A Basement Window View

Get To Know Penn State’s Business Fraternities

Penn State ‘Deeply Concerned’ By ICE’s New International Student Policies

“Our international students need to rely…on a safe and flexible learning environment that will help make possible the attainment of their educational goals in a safe and healthy manner.”

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Success With Returning Stars

With barely six weeks until the first ball is kicked for the 2020 campaign, let’s see how the Nittany Lions might line up.

Send this to a friend