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Teachers, Students Raise Money for Teen Battling Cancer

PARADISE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A fundraiser was held Wednesday at Swiftwater Elementary Center near Mount Pocono for a teacher’s son who is battling cancer. This is the second time in a little more than month that the school has come together to help a teacher in need.

Instead of spending extra money on a sweet treat, one sweet little second grader decided to use her money to help a student in need.

“I bought bracelets for T.J.’s fight, and I hope T.J. feels better,” said second grader Elizabeth Byrne.

T.J .is a 15-year-old freshman at Pocono Mountain East High School. In March, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

Staff and students at Swiftwater Elementary Center near Mount Pocono held a bracelet fundraiser to help the family. Bracelets were sold for $2 at Swiftwater Elementary Center.

Jennifer Berghoefer, T.J.’s mom, is a learning support teacher at the district.

“I am always part of the giving end but to be on the receiving end is overwhelming,” Berghoefer said.

In fact, Berghoefer gave to another teacher in the district whose child is also battling cancer. The school community held a similar fundraiser last month.

Berghoefer says the support is incredible.

“I am grateful to everything. This large community has come together to be a small community in a large setting. It’s overwhelming,” Berghoefer added.

In addition to the bracelet sale, a purse bingo was also held for T.J.’s fight. That money, plus all the bracelet money will go right back to the family.

Jennifer Gambino is a volunteer at the school. She helped sell bracelets.

“It’s amazing to see the community coming together. Parents are sending in extra money, not even just enough for a bracelet, they are giving change, any kind of donation for the family,” Gambino said. “It’s just amazing.”


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