IN FOCUS: Pediatric Cancer

Our topic on this week’s “In Focus” is pediatric cancer and a foundation in New Jersey called Go4thegoal which is helping young patients and their families by providing support and services, as well as grants to help hospitals – such as St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia – with important renovations.

Beth Stefanacci, Founding Director of Go4thegoal Foundation joins us to talk about the non-profit she and her husband founded after the passing of their son Richard who was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at the age of 14. According to Stefanacci, pediatric cancer is the number one killer of children by disease and she says two classrooms of children are diagnosed with cancer every day. Go4thegoal has a number of fundraisers including their “Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer Campaign” supplying thousands of bright colored shoelaces that many area teams purchase in support.

One of those programs helped Jason Garstkiewicz who is a student-athlete and senior at Haddonfield Memorial High School and was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in 2011. Garstkiewicz shared his personal story with Jennifer about his battle with cancer, surgery to remove his right foot and a portion of his leg and how he’s inspiring other and raising awareness about pediatric cancer.

Two student council members from Haddonfield Memorial – Kaitlin Bonnet and Maggie McCutcheon - who helped raise more than twenty-thousand dollars for Go4thegoal since their freshman year - shared why helping Jason and fundraising for pediatric cancer was important to them. Karen Flint, Athletic Director of Go4theGoal also joins Jennifer. “In Focus” airs Saturday mornings at 6:30 and 11:30 on PHL17.