Gold Ribbons to Raise Money, Awareness for Childhood Cancer

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WEST PITTSTON, Pa. -- If you've taken a drive through parts of Luzerne County this past week or so, you may have noticed big gold ribbons hanging on homes and businesses.

Gold is the color of childhood cancer awareness, and September is the official awareness month.

Gold ribbons adorn light poles, lamp posts, and some businesses in West Pittston. The ribbons are meant to draw attention to a cause that's near to the hearts of the community here: childhood cancer awareness.

Just up the street is where the Speicher family lives.

Eric and Jessica Speicher's oldest son Eric died from a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer back in 2013. He was 14 years old.

"He was a great kid. He loved baseball. He loved hanging out with his friends. He was very active, he was very smart," Jessica Speicher recalled.

The Speichers have two other sons -- 11-year-old Chase and 2-year-old Greyson -- and now they're also busy with Little Eric's Foundation, a nonprofit they founded in 2014 to raise awareness of childhood cancer and raise funds to help find a cure.

Gold ribbons, which they sold for $2 each and sold out of quickly, are the awareness part.

"A woman said, 'How are people going to even know this means childhood cancer awareness?' And I said, 'that's what we're trying to start, trying to get the word out," Jessica said.

The fundraising part is happening now.

This past June, Little Eric's Foundation hosted a wiffleball tournament. And next weekend, they're putting on a casino and game night.

Some of the money raised will go to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City where Eric was treated, and where research is ongoing.

"To basically fund cutting-edge research in the field of childhood cancer, in the hopes to find a cure," Eric Speicher said.

But Eric Speicher says a portion of the money raised will stay here in the area, earmarked for children and families who are going through cancer treatment now the same way his son Eric did so bravely a few years ago.

"It's so great to keep his name alive and his memory alive, but we're doing it for the kids who are still fighting."

Little Eric's game night, "Play for a Cure," is set for next Saturday, September 15, at the Holiday Inn Wilkes-Barre East Mountain.

You can get more information and tickets here.

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