Each of them have been touched somehow by childhood cancer.
Now, they are hoping to do what they can to battle the different cancers that are stealing so many young lives.
“We have learned that we are not alone,” said Cathy Prowant, of DuBoistown. “We want to let others know they are not alone.”
Prowant is the grandmother of 12-year-old Hanna Freezer who was diagnosed with leukemia three years ago.
Hannah’s cancer has since gone into remission.
But Prowant and Hannah’s mother, Brenda Freezer, now know what it’s like to see a child in their family fight cancer.
And they have a pretty good idea of what it’s like for other children and their families facing similar battles.
“It’s an emotional rollercoaster,” said Heath Heller, of Cogan Station, whose daughter, Delaney 10, has an inoperable brain stem tumor.
Heller conceded that childhood cancer is not an issue that he likely would have bothered with had his daughter not had the disease.
And it’s not an issue he and others feel really receives the sort of attention that it should.
But cancer claims more lives of children in the U.S. than any other disease.
In addition, the incidence of childhood cancer is increasing.
An estimated 13,500 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year, according to statistics.
Unfortunately, just 4 percent of federal funding for cancer research goes toward childhood cancers, Prowant noted.
Other local families with children who have either had or are recovering from cancer are also on board with the local organization.
Lisa Snyder’s daughter, Jacqueline, 11, has leukemia, although it is in remission.
Tom and Amy Rinker, of Jersey Shore, experienced the sadness of watching their son pass away from cancer.
Lia Hart, the daughter of Brian and Amy Hart, has stage 4 liver cancer.
“We know what everyone is going through,” Freezer said.
Through their organization they are hoping to get more people involved to spread awareness about childhood cancer.
Just recently, they managed to get the Lycoming County Commissioners and Williamsport Mayor Gabriel Campana to recognize September as Childhood Cancer Awareness month
Prowant noted that Willamsport lit the city hall building in gold Sept. 12, the symbolic color for childhood cancer. Likewise, the Genetti Hotel has been aglow in gold lights.
Local high school football teams are also involved with players decorating helmets and socks festooned with gold ribbons.
“Our goal this year was to have Lycoming County gold,” Heller said.
Added Freezer, “We are hoping that next year this really takes off.”