As many as 40 soccer teams from throughout the region are expected to participate in a tournament hosted by the Lehighton Area Soccer Club Sunday, which will raise funds for three young former soccer players with serious medical problems.
Trisha Higgins, treasurer of the LASC, said that nearly 250 players will be using the Lehighton High School fields to help Arthur Terembula, Dylan Krum and Tristan Wentz, who were stricken with cancer. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To sweeten the day, there will be chances to win tickets to the Cinderella concert at Penn's Peak on July 13. Other prizes include technical sessions by FC Lehigh, a premiere soccer club and a prize-filled basket by FC Sonic, a men's National Premier Soccer League, which are both sponsored by PenTeleData. Each participant will receive an event T-shirt. Plus, fathers attending the event will be randomly selected to receive gift certificates for free ice cream at Rita's and the Lehighton Boulevard Drive In. The event welcomes everyone to attend and support the children.
Approximately 37 teams have already registered. The ages range from 5 years old to high school and adult. Eight teams will be fielded at a time.
"We'll have teams from Wilkes-Barre, plus local teams from Panther Valley and Lehighton, including the Towamensing Soccer Club, Lower Macungie, Bloomsburg and Easton," Higgins said.
The three boys with cancer are all students in the Lehighton Area School District. Terembula is 16 years old and a junior at Lehighton Area High School and the son of Tammy (Szoke) Habri; Krum is 15 years old and a freshman at Lehighton Area High School and is the son of Lora (Long) and David Krum; and Wentz is 14 years old and a seventh-grade student at Lehighton Middle School and is the son of Nicole Semmel and Barry Burton, both of Lehighton.
Terembula was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer that has spread throughout his body through his lymphatic system. His grandmother, Penny Szoke of Parryville said that the first indication that anything was wrong with her grandson was pain in his groin area, which was also swollen.
The lump did not go away after two treatments of antibiotics and then he developed a severe pain in his back. His grandmother said he was also losing weight. She said that his doctors thought the lump was a cyst, but after aspirating it, the test results showed he had cancer.
Since then, Terembula has pain in his chest and some dizziness. He undergoes chemotherapy twice a day for five days and then gets a break for 10 days before the cycle continues. So far, the tests show the cancer is shrinking.
"He gets tired a lot," she said. "Arthur is determined to keep up on school work and is presently getting home-schooled to continue his studies."
She added, "He has a good attitude and said his illness was actually a blessing because he has a different way of looking at things now."
Krum is a patient at Lehigh Valley Hospital where he is being treated for lymphoma. He is presently having serious side effects from chemotherapy treatments, said his father.
A few months ago Tristan Wentz began getting headaches. A CT scan showed a mass in his brain. He was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma by doctors at Children's Hospital. Tristan underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to treat a tumor which was at the top of his skull.
"We love soccer," said Higgins. "That is why this group gets together, but when you have a good cause like this one and see it all come together, it's awesome."