Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cancer Can't Stop Christmas

And I'm constantly reminded of how close Christmas is as I sit in Starbucks and write. The walls are adorned with peppermint and candy cane wallpaper - there are holiday advertisements everywhere, "Holiday Boxed Mug $6.99". And in my hand is a grande iced chai latte.

Winter bliss.

But to get to the point: One of my favorite Christmas traditions is watching the Grinch. In fact, it's one of the few things I do every year. The cartoon or Jim Carrey, both are gauranteed to be full of laughs. But did you know that once, the Grinch stole THON?

Neither had I until I found this little gem in my inbox. [Big thanks to Bri Nero for sharing]

"The Lions in Happy Valley liked dance marathon a lot, but the Grinch that lived on top of Mount Nittany did not. The Grinch hated Thon with all of its joy. He hated the giving to little girls and little boys.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on quite right, or maybe he just didn't know wrong from right. But I think the most likely reason of all, may have been that his heart was 10 sizes too small.




From October to February, year after year, he watched as the Lions fought for the cause held so dear. And he cursed all their efforts, and he sneered at their rants, and he even despised the beloved line dance.


Dan and I failing at the line dance during an hour of delirium for me.

While he watched with a frown, the committees were chosen, and quickly his heart became even more frozen. He watched as the Lions went door-to-door, and the Grinch hated Thon every day more and more.


"Curse those Lions, and their big heart," sneered the beast. "If only I could ruin their cause in the least." And he waited and saw as registration took place, and he noticed the dancers and loathed every smiling face. Kickoff dinner came then, soon after, and the Grinch cringed and shook at the sound of the laughter. "I must stop this Thon!" thought the Grinch as he scowled. And he fumed and he fretted and pouted and howled.


Then he got an idea.


An awful idea.


The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea.


"I will steal their dance marathon" he thought with a grin. "I will take all their joy, and at last I will win! I will take all their cans, and their signs and their pledge books. I will take their kind wishes and happy, caring looks. I will take their theme hours, their committees and treats. I will steal their clean socks and new shoes for their feets! I will sneak to Happy Valley, and their Thon I will take. Then I'll watch from Mount Nittany as their hearts fall and break!"


So the night before Thon to the BJC he crept. And he tore down the "walk" and his tiny heart leapt. He packed all the signs, and the banners and food, and he put them away and he sealed them up good.



He kidnapped the captains, and guests and moralers.


"Let's see them try to get through 46 hours!" And he laughed as he thought of the heartache he'd bring. "At last, I have ruined this marathon thing!"


And when he had the trappings all tied up and bagged, and when he had Todd Waltman all bound up and gagged, he fled to Mount Nittany with the cargo in tow, to await their reactions from the cold mountain snow.




The next afternoon, precisely at 7, the Grinch looked toward the BJC from the heavens. And he wrung his hands with grim, evil glee, with the hope of some sad, tear-stained faces to see. But to his surprise, no cries did he hear. Not even the tiniest lack of good cheer.


From his perch on Mount Nittany, the Grinch heard a sound, and it caused his weak, little heart to pound. With each passing second, the noise became louder, and it reached the Grinch laying in the snowy, white powder. And the Grinch realized from the place where he hid, that the Lions were chanting the phrase "For the kids."




And the Grinch knew at once, that Thon had not ended, and that no child's heart would need to be mended. You see, the Lions were there in the BJC that day, and their voices were proud and their songs were still gay. And the Grinch stood up quickly, and growled with fright.


"How could it be that they still dance tonight?" They danced without moralers, they danced without themes. They danced without captains or JoePa or teams! They danced without presents they danced without praise, but they kept right on dancing for two-straight, full days!


And when the Grinch saw this, something happened to his heart. It turned into a diamond, split up in four parts: Courage, Wisdom, Honesty, Strength. And it was 12-inches high and 10-inches in length.




The Grinch flew down Mount Nittany, with the speed of a hawk, and he helped the captains re-assemble the "walk." And he joined in the theme hours, and he played with the kids, and he never went back to the place he once hid.


And every year after, the Grinch danced at Thon, and he preached that its spirit should live on and on. Not just in Happy Valley, but all places far and near. May the giving spirit of Thon last throughout the whole year."



For those of you looking for a way to give back this Christmas, I ask you to think of the Penn State IFC/Pan-hellenic Dance Marathon and the Four Diamonds Fund - two organizations which work year round to fight pediatric cancer. Your donations make life easier on the families who otherwise would face large medical bills. Thanks to donations throughout the year, parents can simply focus on their children and getting them better rather than the headaches of insurance claims and uncovered costs.

You can make a donation in any dollar amount at http://www.thon.org/. We ask that you consider crediting your donation to Penn State York. To donate, simply select the yellow "Donate Now" button & select "General Organization" - you will later have the option of selecting York. For those of you who do so in an amount of $10 or more - leave a comment here and you will receive a Four Diamonds keychain or wristband as a thank you form Penn State York.

Our goal at Penn State York this year is to not let cancer stop Christmas - especially for Kasey. For those of you who aren't familiar with this wonderful little girl, Kasey is currently in Hershey Children's Hospital as she fights complications of her Leukemia and pushes on with her treatment. Kasey is a strong little girl who never lets cancer stop her or slow her down. We've decided that if Leukemia can't stop Kasey then we should do everything we can to not let it stop Christmas for her, either. I've received so much support in this idea - from christmas cookies baked and ornaments made to presents and craft supplies and this silly video from Commonwealth Morale:

video

These wonderful people, Teach Me How to Fussy (especially Tom & Steph), have been spreading all kinds of yellow love to Kase & I'd like to take a minute to thank them again for all that they do to keep her (and my) spirits alive all year long but especially during this holiday season.

I'd also like to thank my committee members who show incredible dedication and support to Kasey even though they have two adopted families of their own. I can't wait to shower Kasey with all of the fabulous gifts you've all picked out and made for her.

Kasey felt good enough to get out and play some BINGO this week! And of course, she won and the silly girl chose this as her prize.
No suprise, Kase, no surprise at all.


For those of you who would like to be kept up to date on Kasey's treatment,

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