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Brotherly Love: Kids Sell Neon Shoelaces For Friends With Cancer

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(credit: CBS) Ukee Washington
Ukee Washington anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on CBS 3 and...
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By Ukee Washington

HADDONFIELD, NJ (CBS) – If you see some neon yellow shoelaces around town, you’re seeing a beacon of hope for kids with cancer.

It’s a busy day at Haddonfield Middle School.

“It’s somewhat organized chaos,” said Principal Gino R. Priolo.

The students are selling mounds and mounds of neon yellow shoelaces to help families struck by pediatric cancer. They’re not just on sneakers; you can see them woven into hair braids and wrapped around headbands, too.

Behind the table helping sell the laces is 13-year-old Jason Garstkiewicz. He’s wearing a cap because he lost his hair due to the chemo he’s receiving.

“It feels pretty good to know that people care about the cause, and that’ll help other people fight cancer,” said Jason.

Jason was diagnosed with a malignant sarcoma in December 2011.

“Parents and kids from my lacrosse team were trying to find a way to support the cause,” said Jason.

They found shoelaces sold by Go4theGoal, a New Jersey non-profit that helps families affected by pediatric cancer. They expected to sell a few hundred for Haddonfield sports teams. They never expected 6,000 to fly off the shelves in only a few weeks.

“That’s a lot of feet! That’s a lot of laces!” said family friend Jean-Anne McMahon, who has been organizing the sales. She said that not only are nearby schools joining in, but so are bigger teams.

“One of the parents in town, she sent them to her son’s baseball team at Penn State. They’re going to wear them,” said McMahon.

The Garstkiewicz family says the laces have been a comfort for Jason during a tough time.

Pam Garstkiewicz, Jason’s mother, said, “He loves selling them. I know he’d rather be on the other end of it rather than the receiving end, but he feels very, very thankful.”

He’s also thankful for all the other families being helped.

For more information, visit Go4TheGoal’s website.

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