NANTICOKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A festival in Luzerne County is not beating around the puck this year when it comes to cancer.
Street hockey teams battled for the biscuit at Quality Hill Park in Nanticoke Saturday afternoon.
“It’s a little competitive out there, but at the end of the day it’s just for laughs and fun, and like I said, it’s a great cause so, you can’t beat it,” Isaiah Johnson of Nanticoke said.
But these games were played in support of those fighting a much greater battle: cancer. The Puck Cancer Festival raises money to help patients in Northeastern Pennsylvania afford the medication they need, which can be a financial burden for some even with insurance.
“You might need to pay $2,600 just to have this treatment today, well, now you’re not going to have food on your table, you’re not going to have your light bill paid, you’re not going to have gas to get to your appointment, and that’s the important stuff,” Puck Cancer co-founder Lauren Myers said.
A scenario that Myers and her husband Shawn know all too well. They co-founded Puck Cancer in memory of Shawn’s mother, Michelle Aberola Myers, who lost her battle with the disease in 2012.
In her honor, the proceeds go directly to patients at Medical Oncology Associates in Kingston, where a prescription fund is set up.
“My husband passed last April of cancer, and the oncology group, they’re like family there. They treat you with respect, and the best care,” Michele Deleur of Harvey’s Lake said.
Care that’s made a little easier thank to hundreds of people here, from survivors to patients, to hockey players and friends.
“Anyone that is a cancer patient knows that we need all the help we can get spiritually and monetarily,” Mary Lisa Lada of Larksville said.
“Just knowing that deep down we’re helping somebody beat their financial struggles so that they can beat their cancer, it means everything to us,” Myers said.
To date, the organization has raised more than $65,000 for cancer patients.