WILLIAMSPORT– This weekend, hundreds of Penn State students will get to their feet and stay standing for 46 hours. THON” 2014 is about to begin. It is the 42nd year for the dance marathon which helps in the fight against childhood cancer.
It is an incredible scene that takes over the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State every year. But this year is different for a family from Williamsport.
Emily Snyder has been going to THON for years. But now it’s a celebration.
The Williamsport high school student just found out she has beat cancer. After 5 years her stage 4 lymphoma never returned.
“When you get this news, you want everybody to know this is the most exciting thing that has just happened to you, to our family that your child has lived through this horrific disease,” said Emily’s mom Jennifer Snyder.
Emily and her mom still remember the horrific times when the, then 8-year-old, spent months in a hospital bed at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, undergoing treatment after treatment of chemo.
Emily doesn’t really like to talk about it.
“I’m a different person now than I was then,” Emily said.
“When we first got the news that Emily was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma, we thought it was a death sentence, ” Jennifer said.
But their gratitude for THON and the millions it raises for the Four Diamonds Fund is far from over.
It covered everything the Snyders’ insurance didn’t. Hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Oh my goodness they have done so much for us, paying hospital bills and medical bills and taking care, taking that complete load off a family. We still have our house where I know some people don’t after a tragedy like this, ” said Jennifer.
At school, Emily doesn’t want to be the girl who had cancer. But at THON, at Penn State this weekend, she will be a superstar who beat the disease.
This high school student now has a lifelong bond with Penn State and the students who sponsored and supported her, from diagnosis to now.
“Just made me feel better than I had, like everything is going to be okay,” Emily said.
“We’re just so thankful for THON and thankful for people that put it out there like this and let everyone know what THON has done,” said Jennifer.
You can watch Penn State’s THON live all weekend on WNEP.com
Newswatch 16 will also be at the Bryce Jordan Center Sunday to let you know how much money THON raised this year.