The Alison Keim Family
We are a veteran family - THON 2017 will be our 7th THON. Our first year we were paired with the Kinesiology Club and we have requested to be with them every year since! They have given THON a personal touch for us as we have had opportunity to get to know some students very well. We’ve also enjoyed getting to know some Directors and Captains throughout the years!
When Alison was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2008, we had no idea what life would hold for her or for our family. We were thrown into a new world, one that “only happens to other people” - but was suddenly happening to us. Within hours of Alison being admitted to Hershey Medical Center, we were told about the Four Diamonds. The first, and only, thing that I remember the social worker saying that day was that Four Diamonds would cover ALL of Alison’s treatment, no matter what kind of treatment she would need. We have NEVER seen a bill for her treatment. I can’t even tell you what that meant, and still means, to our family. It gave us the opportunity to focus on Alison and getting her healthy but not having to worry about what it would cost.
As the weeks went by we became more aware of what else Four Diamonds entails - the research, the doctors, the child life specialists, the little things like gas and food vouchers and the incredible nurses at Hershey that care for our kids. It was overwhelming and humbling to learn all that this incredible organization does for Four Diamonds families. Becoming a Four Diamonds family was not one of those things that I had dreamt of for my family. Becoming a Four Diamonds family means that your child has cancer; it means hearing those words that no parent ever wants to hear. It means having to watch your child endure awful treatments that no child should have to endure. However, despite all this becoming a Four Diamonds family has been a huge blessing to our family.
Our invitation to THON that very first year was a great gift! It was as amazing as everyone told us it would be. We were amazed at all that THON had to offer the families. It is truly endless fun for the kids - the opportunity to meet mascots and athletes, be a “star” on stage, has lots of food and snacks whenever the kids were hungry and to see other families and Four Diamonds staff out of the hospital. It was a great weekend! We got to experience it all, including being on the floor with our org for the final four hours. I’ll never, ever forget the emotions that encompassed those four hours that first year.
We are now looking forward to attending our 7th THON. We’ve experienced THON for years and it’s been amazing each time in different ways. Each year we leave saying, “I cannot believe these students put everything they have into THON for the year and then invite us to THEIR party!” Yes, of course it’s our party too, but we didn’t work for any of it. We deserve none of it; we are owed NOTHING just because our daughter had cancer. We do thank each and every one of you for all that you do for us THON weekend! We cannot thank you all enough for all you do to raise millions of dollars for the research, support, and treatment that Four Diamonds provides to families at Hershey! Please keep up the great work you’re doing, know you’re appreciated and have fun while you’re doing it! Looking forward to seeing what you all accomplish this year and hope we get to meet many of you!
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!
Kim, Dave, Alison, William and Lauren Keim