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: Joseph Robert Holeva of Dickson City made a name for himself at Mid Valley as a standout baseball MVP, and later solidified his work ethic as a custom kitchen cabinet-maker and then a journeyman affiliated with Roofers Union Local 30. The 51-year-old also is known as a loving family man to his wife, Stacey Nielsen Holeva, and their “furbabies,” Cooper and Sadie, plus his siblings, which include two sisters and four brothers. But an on-the-job injury in December of 2016 revealed something else about Holeva. Masses were growing on his spinal cord at the base of his neck and also engulfing his left kidney, and a diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma with metastatic cancer of the brain followed. Through multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and spot radiation, Holeva retains his determination to stay in the game, fighting to stay well even with cancerous areas that cannot be completely radiated and the need for a cranial port in his skull.

What: Donations payable to Holeva’s sister, Lisa Vladika, can be sent to 172 East St., Eynon, PA 18403. Supporters also have organized a pasta dinner benefit which will feature 50/50 and basket raffles. Dinner tickets, which cost $10, must be reserved by Saturday, Aug. 10, by calling 570-877-5132; cash or basket donations also can be made at that number. More information can be found at the Facebook event page.

When: Saturday, Aug. 17, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: St. Michael’s Center, 403 Delaware St., Jermyn

Why: Proceeds will help with medical costs and other expenses.

In his own words: “I am blessed. This benefit means so much to me and my family. Every time I see a post (on Facebook) from my sister, Lisa, I can’t believe how lucky I am. Thank you so much.” — Joseph R. Holeva

A couple stands together

Submitted Photo
Joseph and Shirley Fabiani


Update: Shirley Fabiani of Falls Twp. has made small improvements in her recovery from a devastating motorcycle accident that claimed her husband’s life, her son Shane said. “From where she came from, she’s doing wonderful,” he shared. Donations still can be sent, payable to Shane Fabiani, to 157 Highland Road, Dalton, PA 18414 or to PS Bank, 100 Old Lackawanna Trail, Clarks Summit, PA 18411.