I just spent the most inspiring and challenging 12 hours of my life with about 500 Milton Hershey School students and staff. We held our first ever Mini-THON to help raise money for pediatric cancer research. Mini-THON is a marathon event that prohibits participants from sitting down, sleeping or "resting" for an extended period of time. Penn State University's THON event up at Happy Valley's University Campus runs for 46 hours straight! High schools that host THON events only max out at 12 hours.
THONs all over the state of Pennsylvania (and now other states getting in on the action), help raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The Four Diamonds got its start from a young man, named Christopher Millard, who battled cancer and eventually lost his fight to it at 14 years old. During his battle he penned a fable called the Four Diamonds where he was a knight battling an evil sorceress (cancer). As a knight, he collected four diamonds named courage, wisdom, honesty, & strength in order to defeat the sorceress (or his cancer).
As a curriculum writer for character and leadership, I read about and research these virtues every single day. But what I witnessed in the past 24-hours was short of a miracle. Students encouraging others to stay on their feet for suffering children, back aches and sore feet that turned into smiles and cheers when it was revealed that $80,423.15 was raised for dear families in need, tears during the luminary walk's display of loved ones. And the grand finale of our glowing cell phone lights spelling out "FTK" on the field below our stately school--Catherine Hall.
Yes, I slept most of today and my carcadian rhythm will be off for a bit, but it was worth it to "suffer" a bit for others--indeed I do not do it enough...
What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?
I was hit by a car at the age of 8. It was a cold December afternoon in 1981 and I misread the speed that the car was traveling across the urban street in my neighborhood. The car knocked me 10-feet in the air and I landed violently on the driver's hood, then rolled to a stop onto the cold road. I was knocked unconscious all the while hearing my sisters crying and screaming.
The ambulance took me to a trauma center, fixed my broken leg, my broken arm and the bleeding I was suffering internally. After three months of a body cast and three more months of crutches and therapy, I became brand new again…on the outside…but the inside of me changed forever. Our small family fell apart after that, and we have not been the same since...
I write about my journey to healing and the mountaintops and valleys in my book, Faith's Pursuit: Understanding God's Faithfulness in Suffering. To find out more about my incredible journey, download my book from amazon.com, or check out my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/faithspursuit
Happy New Year!
With the support of my husband and kids, I have recently made a career change! It is a bit bizarre, after houseparenting for 15 years, to now be the only one who leaves the house in the morning.
While I still work at the Milton Hershey School, I am now one of the writers for our school curriculum. The curriculum that I am writing is social and emotional learning and character and leadership development. It is a mouthful, indeed, and it speaks to the enormity of the journey I have just embarked upon.
While I feel like this is overwhelming, it really is my life calling. I have grown to be a teacher of children, but I don't teach academic lessons, (except when I homeschooled by children). But I have always taught life lessons. I am excited to use this journey to continue to tell my own story to a larger MHS audience!
My pursuit of faith is paying off in ways that I never dreamed.
Wish me luck!
I am an author and speaker who loves to show my passion for Jesus and people through my writing. Words are powerful!