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An Open Letter To Penn State: Invite Four Diamonds Families To Ring The Survivor Bell At Sporting Events

Ringing the bell to signify the end of treatment is the greatest accomplishment a cancer patient can reach. Unfortunately, it can’t be done by all, but for those who do get to the point of ringing the bell, there’s no greater feeling.

Cancer patients go through so much hardship, especially those who are children, and if they’re strong enough to beat it, they should feel proud to let that bell be heard.

They should feel so proud that they can let it be heard in front of thousands of people, all cheering them on. Last week, Duke made that a reality.

On February 7, Harper Harrell, a 10-year-old Duke fan, was invited to be a “kid captain” in the Blue Devils’ game against Notre Dame. At halftime, Harrell rang the bell at half-court after an 846-day battle with leukemia.

The smile on Harrell’s face says it all. Cameron Indoor Stadium’s 9,314 fans were right there with her, cheering her on as she said, “Peace out, cancer.”

Duke fans, Duke haters, and everyone in between came together to share this special moment and make the fight that lasted over two years worth it.

So, it’s time to bring this to Penn State and have Four Diamonds families who win their fight against cancer ring the survivor’s bell at sporting events.

Not only is THON the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, but Penn State also has some of the best sports programs in the nation. If the university brought those two aspects of the school together, it would be awesome.

More than 108,000 folks were in attendance at Beaver Stadium for the 2023 THON football game, and 12,336 people filled the Bryce Jordan Center for this year’s THON hoops game. These fans would be electrified if a Four Diamonds child rang the bell to signify the end of their treatment.

So, Penn State, bring the “We Are” mentality to games. Take my word and start bringing in Four Diamonds kids who beat cancer to ring the bell at sporting events.

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About the Author

Michael Siroty

Michael Siroty is a freshman from Westfield, New Jersey, majoring in broadcast journalism. When he isn't writing articles or making TikToks for Onward State, Siroty is either taking a peaceful walk around Beaver Stadium or at his summer day camp job. You can contact him to discuss your sushi order or music taste on Instagram and Twitter @msiroty or by email at [email protected].

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