Four Diamonds Fund
|Motto||Conquering Childhood Cancer|
|Purpose||Financial support, medical team support, research support|
|Region served||Central Pennsylvania|
|Co-founders||Charles and Irma Millard|
|Main organ||Four Diamonds Advisory Board|
|Affiliations||Pennsylvania State University
Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon
|Website||Four Diamonds Fund|
The fund was established in 1972 by Charles and Irma Millard following the death of their son Chris from pediatric cancer. The name refers to The Four Diamonds, a fantasy story written by Chris shortly before succumbing to the disease at the age of 14.
The Four Diamonds Fund takes a three-pronged approach to this: medical care, financial and emotional support, and pediatric cancer research. Any child being treated for pediatric cancer at Penn State Hershey is eligible for support, and the fund's policy is to fully cover all medical costs not paid by insurance. Essentially, families never see a bill. Approximately 90 new families receive support each year.
These efforts are partially funded by the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), an annual student-run philanthropy at Penn State. The fund leads several events for the families and contributors. Events, such as the Annual 5K Run/Fun Walk are held annually. THON is a major contributor to the organization and as of 2013 has raised more than $100 million for the fund since 1977.
- Parker, Brock (February 23, 2009). "THON raises $7.5M for Four Diamonds Fund". The York Dispatch. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
- Schmelzlen, Heather (February 22, 2008). "Fund founder, families possess strength, hope". The Daily Collegian (University Park, Pa.). Retrieved December 12, 2011.
- "Fund Began with Boy's Death in '72, The Story of a Lancaster Boy and the Four Diamonds Fund will soon be a Made-for-TV Movie on the Disney Channel". York Daily Record. July 7, 1995. Retrieved December 12, 2011.