(WTAJ)– The co-founder of Four Diamonds, Charles Millard, passed away at the age of 93 during the morning of Nov. 4 from a brain injury when he fell earlier in the day.
In 1972 Charles along with his wife, Irma, co-founded Four Diamonds with the intention of helping families whose children were battling cancer at what is now the Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. This was following their son, Christopher, who had a battle with cancer that lasted almost three years.
When Charles traveled to State College in 1977 he was to partake in a radio show that was broadcasted from the Penn State student radio station. A student that was involved with the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) was also involved with the radio. Charles and the student connected and since then Four Diamonds has been the recipient of THON’s earnings.
Four Diamonds and THON greatly drove advancement in medicine at the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology services and research programs at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital and Penn State College of Medicine.
Executive Director of Four Diamonds Suzanne Graney says how much Charles will be missed.
“Charles was humble, thoughtful, caring and good-humored,” Suzanne Graney said. “He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. I cherish the wonderful memories I have of him. He and his family have inspired me throughout my time at Four Diamonds, and it is a privilege to continue the important work Charles and Irma began.”
When Millard was asked about the impact Four Diamonds has made he responded by saying “When you bring together good people for an important cause, there are no limits.”
The name Four Diamonds comes from an essay that Charles wrote and tells about a knight’s quest for four diamonds – courage, wisdom, honesty and strength. This is symbolic of characteristics that the family displayed during Christopher’s battle with cancer.
Since being founded in 1972, Four Diamonds had helped over 4,800 families in covering all medical bills for every Four Diamond family. For more information about Four Diamonds visit their website.