February 17, 2013 at 1:51 PM
Before the families took the stage to tell their stories, head football coach Bill O'Brien talked about THON and the Penn State community.
"I was here a year ago, and I was a rookie," O'Brien said. "I didn't know too much about it, but I understood the importance of it."
Over the past year, O'Brien said he has been reading about THON, and after doing his research, found out what THON is all about.
"First, the families -- and, most importantly, the children -- are a tremendous inspiration to us at Penn State," O'Brien said.
He then talked about Charles Millard and his family, the founders of the Four Diamonds Fund.
"To me, that's what Penn State is all about, those four words: wisdom, courage, honesty and strength," he said. "If there's one thing that I've learned in the past year at Penn State, it's that's what we're all about."
Though the crowd was enthused for the majority of his speech, it was silenced, when O'Brien mentioned there were three hours left of THON.
Over the last few months, O'Brien said people have thanked him, the football team and the coaching staff for their hard work, but he wanted to thank those involved with THON.
"In my opinion, this is the greatest university in the country, and in the world, because of this event here," O'Brien said. "This is fourth quarter, so we have to start this now. We have to push."