From Brotherly Love
BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — You understand the term “think pink?” That’s breast cancer awareness. But if you don’t know “think grey,” the Renk family of central Bucks County is trying to change that.
This was a big day for the kids at Bridge Valley Elementary School in Furlong, where they were visited by Hip Hop from the Sixers, Swoop from the Eagles and the Phillie Phanatic. But amid the laughter was sadness for the boy who didn’t live to see this. Fifteen-year-old Matthew Renk used to go to this school, but he died last year of brain cancer, two years after being diagnosed.
“Matthew was an extraordinary kid,” said Jackie Renk, Matthew’s mother.
“He was the most wonderful young man you could ever meet,” said Pat Renk, Matthew’s grandmother.
“Never complained about it once, never harped about it. Just went through the motions, went through the treatments,” said David Renk, Matthew’s father.
After losing Matt, the Matthew Renk Foundation was born. ‘Think Grey’ t-shirts raise awareness about brain cancers — the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for people under the age of 20.
“It’s important to raise awareness about the disease and why organizations like the Matthew Renk Foundation are doing such a great job,” said Chris Grunder, spokesman for the National Brain Tumor Society.
The Renk family has sold more than 600 shirts to help other families, particularly families with children.
At Central Bucks East High School in Doylestown, students gathered with their Think Grey shirts around Thomas Renk, Matthew’s twin brother, and for a rally at Matt’s elementary school.
“Most of my friends knew Matt, and so they bought the shirt,” said 16-year-old Thomas Renk.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said Matthew’s 12-year-old brother Andrew.
“Matthew would have absolutely loved this,” Matthew’s father said. “He would have been just smiling from ear to ear.”
His parents smile remembering everyone who is helping in Matthew’s honor.
For more information on the Matthew Renk Foundation, click here.
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Reported by Dave Huddleston, CBS3