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Former student running in The Hope Express

Brian Tran, a former Penn State Berks student, will run in The Hope Express, a 24-hour, 135-mile run that was created to bridge the gap between families at the Hershey Medical Center who can not attend THON and the dancers at the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, which is affectionately known as THON. The run begins on Thurs., Feb. 17, 2011, at 6 p.m. at the Hershey Medical Center and ends at the Bryce Jordan Center to kick off THON weekend. To donate, go to thon.org/donatenow1. Select "General Organizations" and "Hope Express - Brian Tran.”

Short for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, THON is a year-long effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. THON's fundraising helps offset the cost of a child's cancer treatment and helps establish research endowments aimed at increasing the cure rates of pediatric cancer treatments.
There will be a hand-off that will begin Tran’s first leg of the run that evening at 6:30 p.m. at Hoss's Restaurant in Hummelstown (20% of dinner proceeds benefit THON). The runners will take turns completing the 135-mile course, each running three legs of three miles each while carrying a bag of letters from the families to the THON dancers. All the runners will complete the final mile together.

Tran was involved with THON during his time at Penn State Berks, as a dancer in 2009 and as co-chair in 2010. He remained involved through the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group, where he serves as regional events coordinator for the Philadelphia area. He submitted an application for The Hope Express and was chosen as one of the 16 runners from a pool of approximately 45 applicants. The team is comprised of THON alumni and Four Diamond families (past and present).

When asked about his reason for participating, Tran explained that one of his fellow students at Penn State Berks was diagnosed with leukemia in 2007.

“I will take mountains, I will take cold, I will take the night over what these kids are going through,” commented Tran about running in The Hope Express. “They are the ones who are conquering the mountains. We're just putting one foot in front of another.”
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