In 1977, THON partnered with Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, and designated Four Diamonds as the sole beneficiary of THON’s fundraising efforts. THON still proudly supports Four Diamonds' efforts to conquer childhood cancer. To date, THON has raised more than $114 million to benefit Four Diamonds.
The Four Diamonds’ mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research. Four Diamonds offsets the cost of treatment that insurance does not cover, as well as expenses that may affect the welfare of the child. Four Diamonds supports the medical team that cares for the children and funds pediatric cancer research through start-up grants and the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Institute.
Four Diamonds began with Christopher Millard. Chris was 11 years old when he was first diagnosed with cancer. In 1972, after a 3 year battle, Chris passed away. Shortly before losing his battle, Chris wrote a story about a great knight named Sir Millard who sought out the four diamonds of Courage, Wisdom, Honesty and Strength in order to be released from the grips of an evil sorceress. These diamonds symbolized the attributes that Chris believed were necessary to overcome cancer. That same year, in honor of their son, Chris' parents, Charles and Irma Millard, founded Four Diamonds to assist children and families in their fight against childhood cancer. Through Four Diamonds, Chris Millard and his legendary story of Sir Millard live on, and serve as a beacon of hope for children and their families fighting cancer.
Each year, Four Diamonds provides direct support to approximately 600 children with cancer – 100 who are newly diagnosed and 500 who are continuing their fight. Since it’s creation in 1972, Four Diamonds has helped more than 3,400 children and their families and supported a diverse platform of pediatric cancer research at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, seeking improved treatments and cures to benefit those around the world.
To learn more information about Four Diamonds, visit their website at fourdiamonds.org.