Our Intern: Center Stage at THON

February 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm 3 comments

Oralis before her haircut

As a member of THON’s rules and regulations committee, our intern, senior Oralis Ramos is usually in the background at THON. But this year, she found herself on center stage last weekend as part of a group of students who had their hair cut and donated to Wigs for Kids. Here is her story:

I have always known that I had a half sister about my age, but my father had lost touch with her. Just over a year ago, I had an intense urge to meet her, and my father tracked her down in January 2009. Unbelievably, Emnie was scheduled to have surgery the very next day to remove a cancerous tumor. It was very emotional, and that night we talked for over an hour. She told me she was scared about the surgery, but that it was some sort of miracle that brought us together at this point and time.

Thankfully, her surgery went well, and the follow-up chemotherapy and radiation did, too. She also told me about a promise she made to herself while undergoing the treatment: If her treatment was successful and she was cured, then she would donate her hair to kids with cancer. Like me, she has had long hair all her life, and felt apprehensive, but this was something she had to do. Hearing her inspired me to want to do the same.

Oralis after her haircut

I applied to Wigs for Kids, and I was notified that I would get the great opportunity to get my hair cut during THON on stage. Saturday afternoon, I had 12 inches of my hair cut off. It was breathtaking to see the all kids and dancers looking at the stage. As a little girl I always had long hair, and I remember how fun it was to brush and style. It made me happy to know that another little girl can have that feeling back and not be self-conscious because she doesn’t look like the other kids.

After the initial cutting on stage, my hair was styled by a professional and I am now sporting a “bob” that comes down to my chin. It is definitely a different look, but I love it. Plus, looking into the crowd and seeing all the smiling faces let me know that it was 100 percent worth it.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan  |  February 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    This is a beautiful, touching story.

  • 2. Al Hubbard  |  March 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I totally agree: beautifully written about making a wonderful gift. The amazing connection that Oralis made with her sister Emnie – just as Emnie was about to undergo her own cancer treatment – was truly a miracle. It is another affirmation of how much good the students at Penn State do through their participation in the many aspects of Thon.

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