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‘A Chance To Give Back To Other Families’: Nursing Student Sofia Ludwig Honoring Brother In THON 2024 

THON dancer Sofia Ludwig is a senior nursing student at Penn State and the executive THON chair of the Student Nurses Association at Penn State or SNAPS. Sofia’s journey of becoming a THON dancer, though, starts with her older brother Vincent.  

Vincent is a leukemia survivor and a proud Penn State alumni. As a student, he was involved in the Crossfit Club and immersed himself in THON.

“Seeing him being able to fundraise and give back and meet the families associated with the Crossfit Club was really cool for me,” Sofia said. 

Sofia first attended THON as a senior in high school and prospective student, and her brother’s survival story and involvement in THON influenced her to get involved, too. 

“His journey through THON has motivated me the past four years,” Sofia said. “His journey kind of became mine along the way, which has been really cool.” 

Although Sofia’s family was not a Four Diamonds family, other organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society provided support during Vincent’s treatment, and Sofia wants to provide the same support for families through THON. 

“They’re doing work that impacts families all over the world,” Sofia said. “[THON has] given me a chance to give back to other families even though they didn’t directly impact my family.” 

This is Sofia’s first year as a dancer, and she admitted she’s a little nervous but is mostly excited. 

“Four years ago, when I visited as a senior in high school, I never imagined that I would be a dancer,” Sofia said. “I think it’s going to be a really great weekend.” 

Sofia won’t be dancing alone, however. Her family, including Vincent, will join her and the 700 other dancers on the dance floor.

“It’s going to be really awesome to see them on the floor and spend time with them throughout the weekend,” Sofia said of the “full-circle moment” she’s excited to share with her brother and family.

Sofia said that even after Vincent, who is now a successful electrical engineer, graduated, he continued to support Sofia’s fundraising efforts.

“When it was my turn to come to Penn State, he turned around and offered the same amount of support to donate to my donor drive,” Sofia said.  

Sofia also aims to pass on the THON involvement tradition to her younger sister who is currently a senior in high school.

“I’m hoping she’ll be just as excited about THON, and maybe I’ll influence her to choose Penn State,” Sofia said. 

Sofia is currently doing clinicals at the Hershey Medical Center where she works directly with the children and families supported by THON.

“It’s very rewarding from the clinical side,” Sofia said. “I think THON has made me a more compassionate nurse — a more caring nurse.”

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About the Author

Mitch Corcoran

Mitch is a junior broadcast journalism major from Johnstown, PA. He is a big Pittsburgh sports fan and in his free time he likes to listen to music, play video games, and rewatch old football games. He also loves Seinfeld, Star Wars, bucket hats, and Dua Lipa. If you want Justin Herbert propaganda or random sports content, follow him on Twitter/X @MitchCorc18 or email [email protected]

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