VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Consider this,10,380 children in America will be diagnosed with cancer this year. 10 On Your Side has joined the battle to beat cancer, and we want you to join the battle too.
7-year-old Ben Goldberg was first diagnosed with Neuroblastoma nearly three years ago. Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops in the nervous system which carries messages from the brain throughout the body.
Ben and reporter Andy Fox have challenged each other to see who can raise the most money for cancer research.
Thanks to all of you, over 50 of you, who have contributed to Team Ben, and as of this post, thanks to the one person who has contributed to Andy, and that would be Virginia Beach City Councilwoman Rosemary Wilson. Joining team Ben are students at Princess Anne Middle School in Virginia Beach.
“I love Michael Jackson,” said Ben Goldberg as he stood in the front of his first grade class at the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. Ben loves imitating Michael Jackson. He also likes to give nicknames to his classmates, “My favorite is Logan Slogan and Piper Diaper,” Ben said with a laugh as everyone else laughs too.
“This is the best (school) because my experiences of all these friendships I have, and it’s great to be in this great school,” Ben said. He knows the value of school, friendships, and the value of life. He spends a lot of time at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York battling his rare form of cancer.
There are lots of pictures of him while he’s there, including a picture with his dad Jeff at the Ronald McDonald house with a therapy dog.
His life includes chemotherapy and radiation and hair loss. Ben is at Sloan Kettering a lot, and has access to a teacher while he’s there getting treatments. He’s just a kid who wants to live, and dance, and play the trumpet.
Now he’s helping raise money for rare children cancers through Cycle for Survival. All money raised will go to cancer research. “So the Cycle for Survival is we’re raising money so people can go to OneLife Fitness and just ride stationary bikes, and get teams, and raise money,” explained Ben. Answering the call is Princess Anne Middle School and the ‘Panther Paws with a Cause” Club. Sixth grader Kayti Church said, “When I think of him, I want to help other kids who have cancer, and I want (it to go to) developmental research, so other kids don’t have to go through the same thing he has to go through.”
These Princess Anne Middle School students are great kids who joined the battle and they’ve already raised $1,300. Seventh Grader Caleb Sullivan is also getting involved, “I’ve started a Twitter page with Panther Paws for a Cause raising money for Cycle for Survival donations.”
The Panther Paws Club raised $3,000 last year for Cycle for Survival. Teachers Suzy Metsker and Andrea Vinikoff rode cycles last year. “We are an organization about kids helping other kids. So it seemed to be the perfect fit especially this year for our students to get behind Team Ben since they can kind of relate to being around this age, understanding what he is sacrificing, and they want to help him,” said Vinikoff.
“It must be very hard to know he is only 7 years old, and he still has to go through everything with his school,” expressed seventh-grader Connor Hale. The club is raising money from wearing jeans to school day, selling ring pops, and sunglasses.
The Panther Paws are firmly grasping Team Ben in the race to raise the most money for Sloan Kettering Cancer Research, and they’ve made it very clear they are on Team Ben as they chant his name in the school library, “Team Ben! Team Ben! Team Ben!”
Ben gets the last word as he comes down the playground plastic tunnel at his school, “Cycle for Survival. We’re going to beat you Andy Fox. You’re a pain in the butt,” Ben says with a smile.
Cycle for Survival is May 1 at OneLife Fitness on Virginia Beach Blvd. Join the Battle.
WAVY News 10’s Andy Fox talks about his involvement with Cycle for Survival… and how cancer has touched him: