This little guy is Shane Metzgar. Shane is in midst of battling a rare form of childhood cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Let me rephrase that. Shane is in the midst of doing to his rare form of childhood cancer what Matt Stairs did to Jonathan Broxton in 2008 and what Sheldon Brown did to Reggie Bush in 2006, which is to say he’s going to absolutely obliterate it. You can read more about Shane here and here.
Shane’s father Paul and I grew up together. More precisely, Paul and I competed against one another from about the age of 8 until we became teammates at the age of 12. Paul grew up playing soccer for Olney. I grew up playing for Fox Chase. Our teams would face each other multiple times a year. Eventually, both of our families moved to Cheltenham and we played together for the first time as 7th graders. Paul always competed his ass off. Based on his first few months of treatment Shane has inherited his father’s will to win.
To this day, 30-years or so after we first played against each other, Paul and I remain friends. The Metzgars are a Philly sports family. Paul’s father coached girls’ basketball and volleyball for many years at Martin Luther King Jr. High School. In fact, his MLK girls’ teams won back-to-back public league titles in the early 90’s. Paul’s sister was a decorated soccer player who went on to play collegiately at Stetson. His brother Dan recorded 20 assists in a single season while playing soccer at Cheltenham and played for Bloomsburg. What I am trying to say is that Shane comes from a family accustomed to competing and having success.
I should also mention that with any luck Shane will inherit his mom Michele’s smarts (she has a master’s in public health).
You may be asking why you are reading about this on this website. Well, the bonds that formed when Paul and I were teammates many years ago are still strong. When a teammate is down you rally around them and help. This is a Philly story if there ever was one – we love the underdog. We love and support people with Philly roots. We love athletes who have heart. No one has more heart than Shane. No one is going to fight harder. He’s one of us.
With that said, I am writing to encourage you to join Shane and his family and friends for a fundraiser at North Bowl this Sunday from 4-8PM. Tickets are $50 (kids under 10 are free) and includes bowling and food. There will also be a silent auction with lots of great Philly sports items up for grabs.
If you are unable to make it to North Bowl on Sunday then you can still help by visiting Shane’s GiveForward website and making a donation. Funds will go towards covering any out of pocket costs insurance won't cover and to raise awareness about childhood cancer. Any funds that are not used will go to CHOP's oncology department and to THON, Penn State University's childhood cancer fundraiser.
On behalf of the Metzgar family and their friends we appreciate any support you can offer as we #HelpShaneFightCancer.
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