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Maryland Stories: Christina Galanis

Pictured is Christina at her first Dance Marathon with Jenna Oringher.

"Hello everyone! My name is Christina Galanis and I am a junior studying nutritional science at the University of Maryland. When I was 7 years old, my father tragically passed away from Leukemia. It was a complete shock that no one saw coming. I am forever grateful for the hospital staff that took care of him in his last days during such a terrible time for my family. Since then, I’ve always wanted to find a way to repay the incredible health professionals who save lives every day and help fund research for medical treatments in honor of my dad. As a result, I became involved with the Cancer Awareness club at my high school where we raised money and awareness across campus for organizations such as Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and St. Jude’s Children Hospital. It was also around this time when I stumbled across Terp Thon at the University of Maryland and Children’s National Hospital.

When I lost my dad to Leukemia, it was difficult for my family to cope with the emotional and financial stress. In the big scheme of things, we were lucky because we had such a supportive community behind us. However, I realize not everyone is as lucky. Many kids who enter a children’s hospital need support financially and emotionally so that they can live a healthy childhood. At the end of the day, kids should not have to worry about anything other than being a kid.

Before attending a Terp Thon event, I only knew I was making an impact by raising money for various organizations, but I never physically saw it. I attended my first Terp Thon event during my freshman year of high school. My friend Jenna invited me to race with her at Terp Thon’s Life in Color 5k event. There, I heard the heartwarming stories from Miracle Families and even raced alongside Miracle Kids. I could clearly see the profound influence that raising money and awareness had on patients, families, and staff at Children’s National Hospital. I knew right away that I had to become involved with Terp Thon if I ever came to the University of Maryland.

Fast forward to now. I’m in my third year with Terp Thon and I am a captain on the Events Committee. Along the way, I’ve made countless connections with amazing people who inspire me every day. I’ve seen firsthand the impact one person can make. I’ve made memories I will cherish forever."

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