In Times of Need, Northeast Pennsylvania comes to the aid of its own. In our regular column, we provide a platform for area residents facing a variety of obstacles to create awareness and connect them with much-needed help.
Who: At 6, Vinny Antidormi is the youngest of Brenda and Jason Antidormi’s three sons, who also include Jake, 10, and Luke, 7. The inquisitive and observant boy loves visiting the beach, collecting shells, and swimming and surfing with his big brothers. A former student at Jefferson Elementary School in North Pocono School District, Vinny now makes his home in South Carolina with his family, where he attends Surfside Beach Elementary School. Shortly after he started kindergarten, Vinny received a diagnosis of Stage III rhabdomyosarcoma (Group III), a rare and aggressive form of muscle cancer that started in his prostate and spread to his lymph nodes and 90% of his bladder. Earlier this year, Vinny became just the 32nd child to receive daily proton radiation over seven weeks in Jacksonville, Florida, where the treatment still is in clinical trials and very expensive.
What: Donations can be made via PayPal (Victoryforvinny19) or sent payable to Victory for Vinny, care of The Dime Bank, P.O. Box 509, Honesdale, PA 18431. Local friends also organized a chicken barbecue in Vinny’s honor. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $7 for children 10 and younger and include half of a chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, a roll, dessert, and iced tea or lemonade. The event also will feature basket and 50/50 raffles, instant bingo and entertainment by DJ Joey.
When: Sunday, July 21, noon to 5 p.m. (or until it sells out)
Where: Jefferson Twp. Firehouse grounds, 405 Cortez Road
Why: Vinny receives chemotherapy weekly in Charleston, South Carolina, with an overnight stay required every third week. Money raised will help Vinny’s family with additional medical and travel expenses and to supplement lost wages from missed work because of his care plan, since both of his parents work. It also will cover treatment-friendly activities as Vinny acclimates to a new normal, which includes not being able to do things he used to do, such as going into the ocean.
In his own words: “Boy, is he is a fighter. Other than his missing hair, you wouldn’t know he was being treated for cancer. He bounces back and doesn’t let it hold him down.” — Jason Antidormi, father
Update: Mount Pocono teen T.J. Imhof, who is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma as detailed in this column last week, returned home late Saturday night after completing his last inpatient treatment at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, where he attended summer camp for kids with cancer and was celebrated by staff. Donations still can be made at GoFundMe.com or by sending checks payable to Jennifer Berghoefer to 12 Brunswick Drive, Mount Pocono, PA 18344.
Patrice Wilding is a 13-year employee of the Lifestyles Dept. at The Times-Tribune, where she worked her way up from a clerk to a web video producer to a full-time reporter, writer and copy editor. An Olyphant native, she graduated from Mid Valley Secondary Center and earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with concentration in media arts, political science and communications from Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. She lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, Justin, and their son, Johnny. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT