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PSU athletes explain importance of being involved in THON

Some of the athletes who are dancing in the 46th annual event say they're excited for the big weekend. (WJAC)

UNIVERSITY PARK - The countdown continues for THON, the world's largest student run dance marathon.

Every year students raise millions of dollars and awareness for pediatric cancer.

Penn State student-athletes are yet again involved with THON's dance marathon.

Some of the athletes who are dancing in the 46th annual event say they're excited for the big weekend.

"The thing this year is, enjoy the moment," PSU football player Charlie Shuman said.

Out of over 700 dancers, six student athletes will not only be standing but dancing - for 46 hours straight, starting 6 p.m. Friday.

"You kind of just put it into perspective when your legs and feet start hurting, this is just a weekend and that kids are going through this for weeks, and month, and years,” PSU women's soccer team member Megan Schafer said. “So I think that it's a really, a real big mental test."

Some athletes say the thought of moving nonstop for 46 hours is a bit daunting, but their motivation makes it easy.

"As long as I remember why I'm doing it,” PSU football player Nick Scott said, “I think I should be fine."

"I decided to go for it this year, I could not be more excited," PSU men’s golf team member Connor Raeman said.

Some athletes say they've been using team workouts as a way to prepare for THON.

"During THON, I was like, all right, I've done way more feeling way worse than I am right now," Shuman said.

The five 6 News spoke with will dance as part of the Penn State Student Athlete Advisory Board. They've raised nearly $40,000 so far.

"So student athletes, we have this amazing platform that a lot of people don't take advantage of... so to have this platform and use it for something like THON, it's amazing how much change we can do," Shuman said.

The athletes who have already been to THON say the experience makes them want to help even more the following year.

"They're super nice, super thankful for everything we do and I think that's what keeps me wanting to come back," Raeman said.

"When they’re in the BJC and see how much fun they're having, the smile on their faces, and the fact that we can kind of distract them from the battle they're going through every day, you can't say no to that," Shuman said.

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