miniTHON: the Journey of the Four Diamonds

At Kennett High School, miniTHON needs no introduction. Over the past several years, it has become one of the most celebrated and biggest events Kennett offers, and many don’t even know how this celebration and remembrance of childhood cancer even began.

It all began when a boy named Christopher Millard was diagnosed with cancer. It began a summer-long battle as knights began to fight a sorceress within Millard’s body. When the school year began in the fall, Millard’s teacher assigned everyone a writing assignment of what they had done that summer. Knowing what he wanted to talk about, Millard asked his teacher a question: “Can I write a short story instead of an essay?” The teacher replied with a yes.

And so he wrote his short story: The Four Diamonds. While it may seem like a simple story of knight and shining armour defeating evil, it ended up being an allegory for Millard’s journey—an allegory which delivered much weight because of Millard’s past.

The allegory—a work that has a different meaning of what is being said from the surface—tells of Sir Millard, a knight named after the author, and his journey to defeat Raptenahad, an evil sorceress. He needs to collect the four diamonds of Courage, Wisdom, Honesty, and Strength in order to defeat her.

When the real-life Millard turned it in, his teacher praised what she had read. She even said that Millard should write novels during his senior year. Unfortunately, that never happened; he lost the battle, both figuratively and literally. In order to help other kids with cancer, Millard’s parents started an organization called Four Diamonds—named after the four diamonds in Millard’s story.

Today, the four diamonds symbolize what’s needed to win the battle against cancer: courage, wisdom, honesty, and strength. These are needed not just for those with cancer, but everyone. Everyone can join miniTHON and Four Diamonds, because everyone has the courage, wisdom, honesty, and strength to stand up and battle the cancer within all of us.

— Billy Wikol