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Princesses and superheroes run to fight pediatric cancer

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SOUTH WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) -- Jacob Maniscalco is a fighter.

He’s just 8-years-old and has been battling a brain tumor for 7-and-a-half of those years, But you wouldn’t know it.

Today, his energy was infectious as he played with two princesses outside the Riverside Café on Old River Road.

“They gave me toys and I built some of them.”

Those princesses are actually college students working with A Moment of Magic.

It’s a non-profit organization that takes college students to volunteer at children’s hospitals and schools dressed as princesses.

Today was its first ever Princess and Superhero Run.

Nearly 100 people ran along a 3-mile course around South Wilkes-Barre dressed up like the heroes and princesses we all know and love.

“It’s really exciting to see everyone come out in the first place, but to see them in costume just really shows how much they stand behind our mission and its really cool because they are superheroes because they’re helping us do this and bring it to more kids,” co-founder and Executive Director of A Moment of Magic, Kylee McGrane, said.

Conner Shea came in first place.

He runs cross-country and goes on three-mile runs with his dad every day.

And though the victory feels great, giving back to a good cause feels even better.

“I’m just happy to do it for everyone who needs the help and it’s a good reason to wake up early in the day and just go run,” Shea, of Stillwater, said.

Aaron Belangeri came all the way from San Diego to run in today’s race.

“It always hits home close to everyone I think because either someone knows somebody or has a friend or family member that’s going through something like this,” Belangeri said.

Runners each paid a registration fee of $20. All of the proceeds go directly to A Moment of Magic and helping more kids like Jacob, who just recently got some good news. With new treatment, his tumor has started to shrink.

“So at least I don’t have to deal with this cancer anymore, I have to deal with some of it but…”

“Your fight song is working!”

“Yep!”

Since A Moment of Magic was founded back in 2015, the princesses have done about 400 visits and met more than 7,000 children in 19 states and 2 different countries.

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