OLD FORGE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A community came to the aid of a local family who has endured hardships not once, but twice in the past 17 years. Both hardships are the result of injuries that impacted first a son’s, and now his father’s abilities to walk.
Sunday’s Jamming for Keith fundraiser held at Revello’s cafe in Old Forge brought together hundreds.
They were there to support a local musician and old forge native now battling to recover from a similar battle his son began fighting in 2006.
Music, pizza, and gratitude: life-long elements of Keith Eigen’s life, surrounded him under a tent at Revello’s Cafe on Sunday.
The benefit, which included more than 10 bands and dozens of raffle baskets saw people come together to help raise money for Eigen’s road to recovery.
“I thought it was fitting to put on a show like this for him. It’s like Keith’s day and this is what we are doing. This is Old Forge, and this is what we do,” said Pat Revello, owner of Revello’s Cafe.
“It’s overwhelming you know it’s incredible how many people turned out and everything,” said Keith.
In January, Keith fell at his home in Old Forge, broke his neck, and suffered a spinal cord injury, leaving him in a wheelchair with little range of movement.
Now, while in therapy, Keith is trying to learn to walk again but is still struggling to regain feeling in his arms.
“Keep trying and see what happens. I’m staying positive,” Keith explained.
Unfortunately, this is no new experience for the Eigen family.
In 2006, Keith’s son, Kiel, suffered a life-changing injury at the age of 14, breaking his neck on the football field, leaving him a quadriplegic and confined to a wheelchair.
“It’s kind of a full circle moment. The one thing is for sure the Eigens don’t quit we just keep it in stride and keep fightin’. Same fight, different round,” Kiel said.
Kyle says he and his dad have grown an even stronger bond, one they both could have never predicted but with support from a town like this one it just keeps on growing>
“It takes a village, for sure, and that’s something we are no stranger to unfortunately, but here, you are a name opposed to a number,” Kiel added.
Before his injury, Keith was a musician and bassist for roughly 20 years. He played with longtime friend Bob Mecca in a duo called Two for the Road.
Mecca’s other band, Smoke and Mirrors, was among the musicians who performed during the fundraiser.
Mecca, his wife Debbie, and the Old Forge community are pulling for Eigen.
“I hope he recovers. We hope that he can play bass again because he was an excellent bass player. Get him back on the stage,” Mecca explained.
The fundraiser took part in what Old Forge calls itself “The Pizza Capital of the World”.
It’s only fitting that Revello’s and seven other pizza shops contributed to a raffle to benefit Eigen called “Old Forge Pizza for a Year”.
The grand prize was 52 trays of pizza, or one tray a week for a whole year.