Members of the Tamaqua Area High School's National Honor Society were touched by a recent plea from a single dad's wish to make this Dec. 21 a very special occasion for his seven year old son, Collin Manheim of Wilkes-Barre. Mark Manheim told a local television reporter of his wish to shower his son with Christmas cards in celebration of the one year anniversary of Collin's diagnosis of being cancer free.
The Tamaqua NHS members discussed the idea and decided to go just a little bit further. They want to provide Collin with a holiday shopping spree in addition to the card shower.
Collin was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of two. After a multi year battle and round after round of chemotherapy, the disease seemed to be in remission. Unfortunately, a 2011 check up discovered multiple tumors and doctors regretfully announced the young boy was unable to tolerate the harsh chemical compound. He would need a core blood stem cell transplant if there was any chance of his survival. The transplant was done on Dec. 21, 2011 and Collin is now, in his dad's words, "a walking miracle."
This will be Collin's first Christmas not spent in a hospital bed.
NHS chapter President Emily Demyanovich explained "We talked about encouraging everyone to donate one dollar with their greeting card, but then decided it would have more of an impact if everyone donated just one quarter with their card. Almost everyone should be able to find one spare quarter and if 1,000 people donate, that will provide Collin with a $250 Wal-Mart gift card for a special holiday shopping spree." School district faculty, staff members and students are encouraged to write out t a card for Collin and tape a quarter to the outside. The cards will be collected by NHS chapter adviser Marietta Kotch at the Tamaqua Area Senior High. Chapter members will then remove the quarters, use the money for a gift card and parcel up the greeting cards and gift card and send them to Collin in time for his first cancer free anniversary.
The public is also welcome to participate and may contact Ms. Kotch at (570) 668-1901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.