Fundraiser benefits JCC counselor battling appendix cancer

WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) -- Dozens of people from all over the state came out Sunday to support a Luzerne County teen counselor in her fight against appendix cancer.

Food, fun, friends, and family.

All under one roof for Sara Pisarz.

She wears many hats for the Jewish Community Center in Wilkes-Barre, working as the assistant director of its camp and heading its chapter of the BBYO program for teenagers.

“Sara is beloved by all of BBYO. I would say she is one of the advisors that is known throughout all of our region, not just our chapters, as fun, loving, caring,” Janine Schneider-Ure, a BBYO advisor from Reading, said.

So when Pisarz was diagnosed with appendix cancer back in September of last year, everyone rallied around her.

Friends and family created a social media movement called Team Sara Strong and began selling t-shirts to help raise money for her medical bills.

Today, they took it up a notch.

“Because she’s been with the community for so long and has done so much for so many people. It was important for us to just have a small fundraiser and its really nice to see so many people out and its really going to help her in the end,” Gina Malsky, a member of Team Sara Strong, said.

The entertainment, raffle baskets and baked goods at today’s fundraiser were all donated. And the owners of Bart and Urby’s on Main Street let Team Sara Strong have free reign of their space.

All of the money raised goes directly to Pisarz and her medical bills.

She underwent surgery back in April which removed 80% of the cancer and is on a short break from treatments before starting back up again.

She says she can’t thank her loved ones enough for putting this all together.

“Any little thing can help when you have medical bills that are coming out. And yes, you work, but then when you get the treatment – I don’t know how many hours if I can do full time or if I have to go part-time, so to know that certain things will already be taken care of. Its pretty amazing,” Pisarz said.

If you want to donate to Team Sara Strong, you can reach out to them on their Facebook page.

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