What is Four Diamonds?

Story posted February 18, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Cassie Baylis

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four Diamonds is a childhood cancer organization with the mission to cover all expenses for treatment and care of a child with cancer, not covered by insurance already.

Four Diamonds does not stop at providing medical treatments for the child alone. The organization aims to provide any other kind of support for the family as a whole.

“We really want to make sure that a child and their family conquers this together,” Kelly Walker, Communications Director at Four Diamonds, said.

Additional costs affecting the welfare of the child are included in the costs the organization strives to cover.

“Through Four Diamonds the entire family receives support from a special care team that treats the whole family,” Walker said. “Everything from child life to social work, genetic counseling and nutritionists.

Four Diamonds also supports childhood cancer research at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine.

Other partners in research correlated with the organization are the Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators’ Consortium (POETIC) and Beat Childhood Cancer Consortium. Both work with Four Diamonds to fight for a cure by developing new therapies for pediatric cancer.

“We joined five national and international research consortia, including POETIC, which gives us the opportunity to collaborate with researchers around the world to help even more kids,” Walker said.

Founded in 1972, Four Diamonds has helped over 4,800 children and families. Charles and Irma Millard founded the organization in honor of their son, Christopher.

The Four Diamonds name is said to come from the traits Chris Millard portrayed while fighting his own battle with cancer: courage, wisdom, honesty and strength. Christopher’s story is meant to inspire the children and families fighting cancer.

In 1977, THON partnered with Four Diamonds to make the organization its sole beneficiary for the funds raised. Since then, THON has raised over 203 million dollars for Four Diamonds.

To learn more about Four Diamonds, visit the website fourdiamonds.org.

Cassie Baylis is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email ceb6085@psu.edu.