Lehigh Valley

Annual wrestling tournament raises $100K for cancer research

Fundraiser aims to help wipe out cancer

EASTON, Pa. - Hundreds of youngsters came together at the Easton Area Middle School to wrestle for a cause. The annual Pin Cancer National Wrestling Tournament benefits St. Jude's Children Research.

To get on the wrestling mat, you have to be a fighter. Nine-year-old Giselle Rodriguez is watching her sister battle it out. While Giselle and her family watch from the sidelines, she's a fighter too. She fought kidney cancer. And beat it.

"I kept on having strep throat and I kept on getting sick," explained Giselle as to why she no longer wrestles.

She's been in remission for 2.5 years. Her dad, Dan Rodrigues, said getting the news was tough.

"When we started this, you know we just did it to support it, and little did we know that a little while later, we'd be needing the support," he said.

The annual Pin Cancer National Wrestling Tournament benefits kids like Giselle.

All of the proceeds go to St. Jude's Children Research Center.

"It started because of my mom, and unfortunately she passed away about four years ago, but something good came out of it," said Dan Tramontozzi, executive director of the tournament.

Since the tournament started five years ago, $2 million have been raised. All of it will go to cancer research. Organizers said if it means potentially saving lives, they have to keep the event going.

"Alone you can't battle cancer, alone, you need support of the community and the awareness that this tournament brings it to the community," Dan said.

This year, 450 kids from 12 states are represented at the tournament. The fundraising goal of $100,000 has been surpassed, giving more kids a chance to pin cancer.

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