Tournament To Raise Funds For Cancer Treatment Exceeds Goals - FOX 35 News Orlando

Tournament To Raise Funds For Cancer Treatment Exceeds Goals

Posted: Updated:
AMBLER, Pa. -

Playing a weekly game of pick-up hockey means a lot more these days to 34-year-old Phil Spinosa of Ambler.

"I was diagnosed with a tumor, testicular cancer," says Spinosa.

It was a stunning diagnosis to a seemingly healthy young father of two.

"It was a shock. I didn't know. I was just blown away by it," he recalls.

After surgery to remove his tumor and many rounds of chemo, 6 months later, Spinosa got more bad news: his cancer spread.

He lost weight and playing hockey, his passion, was out of the question.

But something remarkable happened after that diagnosis.

"I was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and I said, 'you know what? I can't pull the cancer out of him, but I can raise money to help pay his medical bills,'" recalls Greg Lombardi, a teammate.

And so, the inaugural "Face Off Against Cancer" hockey tournament was born. It was a 12-team hockey tournament to be held at ice works in Aston, Delaware County.

The team that raises the most money gets to play against the Flyers alumni team. The money goes to help Spinosa pay for mounting medical bills that insurance doesn't cover.

"One person alone, going through chemo, could end up anywhere from 10-15 thousand dollars [in costs,] and that could be devastating for a small, young family," says Ray Kerber, a teammate

"Unfortunately, it does come with a cost. And we need to...we don't have that money, not many people do," says Jackie Spinosa, Phil's wife.

As word spread around the hockey fraternity, so did the donations. "Face Off Against Cancer" shattered a goal of 15,000 dollars. They're now approaching 40,000.

The event has gathered so much steam and raised so much money that these guys are now helping other hockey families in need too.

Now three families are being helped and maybe more. And something else happened. The inspiration of his buddies helped Phil get back in the game as part of his recovery.

"It's great. It's a blast. What I went though the past 3 or 4 months, it's nice to skate and forget about that," says Spinoza as he takes a break from hockey playing.

He now wears jersey number minus one, a little humor in overcoming his battle with testicular surgery.

"The fact we can go out and start it just from friendly skating and hockey playing into this huge foundation. It's only going to get bigger down the road. It's awesome to have that support. I can't ask for anything better," says Spinosa.

  • Chris O'Connell ReportsMore>>

  • Two Suspects Charged In Carjacking Crash That Killed Three Children

    Two Suspects Charged In Carjacking Crash That Killed Three Children

    From Left to Right: Cornelius Crawford, 22, and Jonathan Rosa,19.From Left to Right: Cornelius Crawford, 22, and Jonathan Rosa,19.
    Philadelphia Police say they charged two men in connection with the carjacking that killed three children and injured several others in the city’s Tioga section.
    Philadelphia Police say they charged two men in connection with the carjacking that killed three children and injured several others in the city’s Tioga section.


  • Community Holds Vigil For Carjacking Crash Victims

    Community Holds Vigil For Carjacking Crash Victims

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:41 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:41:19 GMT
    A vigil was held on Tuesday to honor the three children killed in a carjacking crash in the city's Tioga section on Friday.

    A vigil was held on Tuesday to honor the three children killed in a carjacking crash in the city's Tioga section on Friday.

  • An Inside Look At One Of Colorado's First Recreational Marijuana Shops

    An Inside Look At One Of Colorado's First Recreational Marijuana Shops

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:14 AM EDT2014-07-29 06:14:11 GMT
    Some call it the "great green experiment," the legalization of marijuana in some form has now spread to more than 20 states.
    New Jersey is one of them and Pennsylvania may be headed that way. So what does legal pot look like? FOX 29's Chris O' Connell went to Colorado to get an inside look at one of the first recreational pot shops in Denver.
    Some call it the "great green experiment," the legalization of marijuana in some form has now spread to more than 20 states.
    New Jersey is one of them and Pennsylvania may be headed that way. So what does legal pot look like? FOX 29's Chris O' Connell went to Colorado to get an inside look at one of the first recreational pot shops in Denver.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Girl Hopes To Take Team To Little League World Series

    Girl Hopes To Take Team To Little League World Series

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:06:05 GMT
    A group of little leaguers from the city have already conquered the state, now they're setting their sights on getting to the Little League World Series.
    A group of little leaguers from the city have already conquered the state, now they're setting their sights on getting to the Little League World Series.

  • Man Hospitalized After Police-Involved Shooting In North Philadelphia

    Man Hospitalized After Police-Involved Shooting In North Philadelphia

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:04 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:04:48 GMT
    SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.
    SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.
    SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.
  • New Jersey Man Accused Of Killing Girlfriend Appears In Court

    New Jersey Man Accused Of Killing Girlfriend Appears In Court

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:22:24 GMT
    A man accused of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her body along a roadside in New Jersey appeared in court on Wednesday.U.S. Marshals picked up 52-year old Kevin Ambrose a few days ago.
    A man accused of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her body along a roadside in New Jersey appeared in court on Wednesday.U.S. Marshals picked up 52-year old Kevin Ambrose a few days ago.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices