Jack’s Drive 55 fundraiser will be a family event — raising money for a worthy cause while celebrating a courageous Hingham student

Jack Giorgio

April 15, 2022 By Carol Britton Meyer

Youth hockey teams from Hingham and the surrounding area will participate in the upcoming second annual Jack's Drive 55 3V3 "We got this" fundraising tournament to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

The event was started as a show of support for Jack Giorgio, who played Hingham Youth Hockey until he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2019 at age 11.

"There's no way to be prepared for news like this," his father Tony, told the Hingham Anchor. The https://jacksdrive55.org website was created "to offer comfort to others facing [similar challenges] and to let them know they are not alone."

HYH is sponsoring the event, which will be held at Pilgrim Arena on Saturday, April 30, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Games will be played throughout the day, with a skill competition for all ages from 3 to 4 p.m. Most of the players are in the 8 to 15 age range.

Organizers are hoping to raise $55,000 this year following a successful event last year that raised more than $40,000.

Following 62 chemotherapy sessions, Jack, now 14, is making good progress. He and his family -- Tony and Susan Giorgio and his twin sisters, Ally and Maddy -- are grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have experienced as part of the Hingham community over the years.

"Jack has been off chemotherapy for a year, and he couldn't be happier," his father said. "He's in a good place. Never once did he complain knowing the challenge he was facing. This is not something he signed up for."

Jack gave everything to the game of hockey, and this tournament is a way of giving back to him by supporting the Foundation.

"This is a family event more than a hockey event, featuring food, entertainment, games for the kids, and ice cream and other vendors throughout the day, so there will be plenty of people who are not involved in the hockey who will be able to enjoy outdoor activities as well," Michael Walsh, Jack's former hockey coach and one of the event organizers, told the Hingham Anchor.

The "We Got This" slogan reflects Jack's positive attitude and courage throughout his treatment. The "55" represents Jack's former hockey team number and the fact that the week of Aug. 10, 2020 -- his 55th week of treatment -- marked a turning point for Jack.

At that time, he said he felt as though his upcoming MRI would show a retraction of the tumor for the first time, and that's what happened following a long and difficult road.

Jack's entire family remained confident throughout this challenging time, rejecting negativity and remaining sure that Jack could beat the disease.

Even while undergoing weekly treatments on weekends, Jack continued to attend school. "His former coach, Mike Walsh, other coaches, and the hockey community have continued to step up, showing support during Jack's treatment and today. This has been well beyond our expectations," Giorgio said.

While Jack is not at the end of his journey, his family is sharing his story in the hopes of inspiring others, turning this challenge into an opportunity "to deliver more awareness and kindness into the world."

A leader in the brain tumor and childhood cancer communities, PBTF is committed to "curing all pediatric brain tumors and transforming how children and their families are cared for."

Since 1991, the Foundation has provided strategic leadership and funding to accelerate the number of targeted therapies for children battling brain tumors today, while equipping families with the patient family education, financial relief, and emotional support they need to navigate their child's journey.

"We're looking forward to having a good crowd at the event," Giorgio said.

As part of the fundraising effort, "JD55" merchandise is available online and will also be sold at the event -- from T-shirts and hoodies to tank tops and hats.

Registration information is available at https://hyhockey.sportngin.com/register/form/028949146.

Visit https://jacksdrive55.org for more details, to make a donation, or to order JD55 merchandise and http://www.curethekids.org/ for further information about the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

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