February Buddy Check: Local Man Battles Leukemia


JESSUP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- For this months Buddy Check, we’re bringing awareness to another type of cancer: leukemia.

Specifically acute myeloid leukemia, which is a fast-growing form of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Right now a local man is fighting for his life. This is Steven’s story:

The 1970 Chevy Nova in the video is a classic car collector’s dream. It’s one of many cars being restored inside Richard Marcinko’s Auto Repair Shop in Jessup.

He’s run the business for 40 years.; his brother Steven often helping bring new life to these old cards.

“He was like the final body work guys, ya know?” Says Richard. “That does the final work. It had to pass his inspection, ya know? That’s the type of guy he was.”

A perfectionist, perhaps, with an eye for muscle cars. Something both the Marcinko brothers grew up around.

“He liked messing with cars just like I always did, ya know?” Says Richard. “My father was a mechanic when he was alive so we followed in his footsteps.”

But Steven isn’t able to finish working on the Nova right now. Instead of being in the shop, he’s in the hospital fighting for his life.

“We were sitting over in the other garage and I could see that he was getting weaker and weaker,” says Richard. “I just kept telling him, ‘Steven you got to go to the hospital or the doctors, there is something wrong.’ ‘It’s the flu,’ he kept saying, ‘it’s the flu.'”

It wasn’t the flu, doctor’s diagnosed Steven with acute myeloid leukemia, a fast-growing form of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

“It;s really hard to believe, it really is. I mean he’s only 59-years-old and he’s always running around some place, always doing very very active- and then here we are.”

Close friends of Steven’s, like Lynn Mariana, are keeping a close eye on his condition.

“Since he has been in the hospital, they have him in a semi-medically induced coma,” says Mariana. “He’s on a feeding tube and a ventilator.”

But with not much sign of improvement, it’s now a waiting game.

“I feel bad for him,” says Mariana.

We’re just learned that Steven’s condition has gone from bad to worse. He’s now on life support.

Steven’s friends and family are holding a pasta dinner fundraiser on Sunday, March 12th at the Jessup Hose Company No. 1, which will help with Steven’s medical bills.

In addition to the delicious food, there will be a life band and a representative from bethematch.org, with information on how to become a marrow donor.

And as always, our Buddy Check is the time we remind you to call your buddy to remind them to make their health a priority. It’s a call that could save a life.

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About Buddy Check

Each month, we feature people and events in the fight against Breast Cancer and other devastating cancers. We share inspiring stories of survival from people throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania in hopes it will help others live a healthy, happy life.

Gallery of Hope

Awareness, screenings, and early detection are the keys in the fight against breast cancer. If detected early, the five-year survival rate for localized breast cancer is 97%. That’s why Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania created the Gallery of Hope.

Since 2000, the Gallery of Hope has been sharing the stories of breast cancer survivors from throughout northeastern and north central Pennsylvania . . . women and men whose experiences help us educate others.

If you know someone who's battled breast cancer and been an inspiration to others, nominate them for this year’s Gallery of Hope by clicking on the box below. And help us spread the word by displaying the traveling Gallery at your facility or event. Simply click on the "Request" link below.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go and need your help!

Learn more at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.


The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. NBCAM recognizes that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished. Today, we remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health.

Learn More at www.nbcam.org.

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