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Penn State Senior To Donate Proceeds From Novel To THON

Bryce Starner has always taken a head-on approach to positively impact those battling cancer in whatever way he can.

From dancing in THON to making hand-tied fleece blankets for cancer patients in his hometown, the Penn State senior has been continually active in helping those with cancer. Now, after publishing his first novel, he hopes to make an even bigger impact.

Starner will donate half of the proceeds from his novel, Always, to THON and the other half to the York Cancer Center. The book is in memory of his late grandfather, who passed away from prostate cancer in 2015.

THON has always been a part of Starner’s life, especially in his hometown of York, PA and is part of the reason why he chose to come to Penn State. After learning more about THON and the impact the organization has made for pediatric cancer patients and their families, he knew he wanted to become a part of it.

“While trying to re-inspire myself, I found beauty in the opportunity to inspire others who have been affected by the disease and share with them that with time, it’s possible to recognize that cancer gives you more than it takes from you,” Starner said. “Cancer is a word, not a sentence.”

Always is about a young man who tries to rediscover his faith in God after a battle with cancer robs him of all faith, hope, and compassion.

When his grandfather’s cancer battle became worse, Starner channeled his anger and sadness into his writing as a form of therapy, though he doesn’t remember how the exact storyline of the novel came to be.

While writing a novel is an accomplishment in its own right, Starner’s busy schedule made the feat even more impressive. He is a triple-major student in the Sapphire Leadership Academic Program within the Smeal College of Business, a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, and works for the Penn State football team as a recruitment operations intern.

Aside from writing the novel, Starner also designed the cover and submitted the finished product to Kindle Direct Publishing. Although it hasn’t been easy to manage, Starner said he spent any spare moment of downtime working diligently on the novel. 

“Every free second of the last four years has been spent writing, editing, and rewriting the book. There were a lot of sacrifices involved, regarding social and downtime, but now that it’s published, I don’t regret any of it,” Starner said. “Once I started to gain some traction with the plot as a freshman, I vowed to myself that I’d publish before graduating college.”

Starner plans to continue his THON involvement through Zeta Beta Tau by dancing in THON 2019 before graduating this spring.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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