February 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM
Although the Whitehead family was excited for this year's THON, they were also worried that their daughter Emma, 7, wouldn't be able to attend.
"We weren't sure last year if she'd see another THON again," her mother, Kari, said in a press conference.
Kari said her goal was to get Emily, also known as Emma, to another Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, because it is important to be at THON as a family.
"We had to keep fighting, so we could get back to THON," Tom, Emma's father, said.
Kari said they were worried Emma would catch a flu or become sick before THON, but they were able to make it this year.
This is the family's first THON weekend since 2011.
Emma was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in May 2010. Public Relations Overall Chairwoman Cat Powers said Emma is in remission.
At THON, Emma said her favorite part so far has been the squirt gun fights. Emma is going to see her dancers sometime this afternoon, Tom said.
The Whitehead family wants to stay as long as they can, Tom said. The Atherton Hotel donated the family a room, so they would not have to travel back to Philipsburg, Pa.
"We want to stay as much as we can," Tom said.
While they're here this weekend, the Whiteheads said it's great to be back.
"We appreciate the support from everyone," Tom said. "We do our best to spread the word about THON."