Four Diamonds Fund
|Motto||Conquering Childhood Cancer|
|Purpose||Financial support, medical team support, research support|
|Charles and Irma Millard|
|Four Diamonds Advisory Board|
|Affiliations||Pennsylvania State University
Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon
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 (later made into a TV movie) written by Chris shortly before succumbing to the disease at the age of 14.
Four Diamonds takes a three-pronged approach to this: medical care, financial and emotional support, and pediatric cancer research. Any child treated for pediatric cancer at Penn State Children's Hospital is eligible for support, and the organization's policy is to first cover all medical costs not paid by insurance. Essentially, families never see a bill. Approximately 100 new families receive support each year.
These efforts are partially funded by the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), the world's largest student-run philanthropy. Four Diamonds 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 2017 has raised nearly $150 million for Four Diamonds 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. External link in
- "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.