Joey Frushon, a 10-year-old Pittston Area student, was playing basketball for the Bombers in the Avoca Youth Basketball League at the Avoca American Legion.
Carmen Sciandra, the team’s coach, said he had a feeling something was amiss with the boy. “Joey played in four of our seven games this season and clearly he was never 100 percent. Some games he limped up and down the floor. Occasionally Joe would fall, and bounce right back up. Every time I subbed for him I’d asked him if he was all right and Joe would give me a big smile and say, ‘I’m fine coach.’”
Turns out he wasn’t fine. He was treated for a fractured leg and then diagnosed with bone cancer. “Anyone with kids would just cringe at the thought of their child being in this position. I knew we had to do something to support this courageous kid and his family,” Sciandra said.
A group of parents and volunteers spearheaded by Lori Appnel Boggetti came through and dedicated last week’s games as a fund raiser for Joey and his family. League director Stan Waleski embraced the idea and gave full access to the games. Waleski also went to the Avoca Jolly Boys for support. A significant amount of money was raised for the Frushon family.
The Joyce Family and their Miles for Michael Foundation sent an envelope with a generous gift card.
The Avoca League will run themed-basket raffles and collect donations again this week on Saturday, April 6. The raffle winners will be announced at the Bombers game at 6 p.m.
Sciandra said Joey is a fighter. “This kid has a wonderful smile, a huge heart, and he is as tough as nails. If anyone knows cancer, you could let it know it is about to get wiped out by a kid named Joe. You might want to mention, he is no ordinary Joe.”