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Dancing cancer away at West Hanover Elementary School

Updated: Monday, January 20 2014, 10:25 AM CST
Written by: Sherry Christian

At age 5, it's no surprise that Collin Kratzer's friends are fictional. But, the battle this Dauphin County pre-schooler is going through right now is very real.

With a little help from big sister Neya, Collin tells me the big word that struck this little boy when he was just 16-months-old. "Okay, Medulloblastoma."

It was April of 2012 when he was diagnosed, bringing with it some perspective for the family.  "Not the way I wanted to be reminded, but everyday it's a reminder," Jennifer Kratzer said.

It was also when Neya realized she wouldn't be able to play with her baby brother the way that she had hoped and playing with her friends became a thing of the past.  "We spent our weekends in the hospital, so Neya did not have a normal childhood.  She did not have time to do as many activities as her classmates," Bill Kratzer said.

But this weekend, Neya will be joining her classmates in a major activity, a mini-thon at West Hanover Elementary. The mini-thon will raise awareness and money for the Four Diamonds Fund, whose mission is to conquer childhood cancer.

The mini-thon was the idea of Penn State Alum and PTA member Julie Yutesler.  "My roommate in college had a cousin who died from pediatric cancer, they were a Four Diamonds family.  My lawschool classmate, they're a Four Diamonds family and now knowing the Kratzers.  So, unfortunately, if you live in South Central PA, you have too many opportunities to come in contact with Four Diamond families."

The teachers say this is a great way for kids to help kids.  "I think this is a great activity involving the kids in something that affects them," said 2nd Grade Teacher Suzie Heter.

And although he's not in school yet, Collin will be there for the mini-thon on Saturday. He's not old enough for school, but at age 5, he already has an education in brain surgery, chemotherapy, stem cell rescue, and blood transfusions. None of which, are affecting this little man's heart.

The West Hanover Township Elementary School Mini-Thon is this Saturday, January 25th from 2:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For more information, CLICK here : cancer away at West Hanover Elementary School

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