Franklin boy who has beaten cancer is 'paying it forward'

Philip Steigerwald

A Franklin boy living with neuroblastoma is looking to "pay it forward" to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation international charity.

Philip's Pay-It-Forward, hosted by five-year-old Philip Steigerwald, will feature lemonade and baked goods during Franklin High School's home football game Friday night.

The stand will also be operating in front of Callaghan's Pharmacy on Liberty Street during the Applefest car show Sunday, Oct. 6.

Philip, the son of Jeff and Wendy Steigerwald, of Franklin, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer in February 2017. By May 2017, after enduring chemotherapy treatments at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, it appeared there was no medical hope.

"The chemo did nothing, and at that point the doctors said they could try to extend his life but they couldn't save it. It was devastating," said Kathy Hoffman, a friend of the Steigerwald family.

Philip then traveled to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to undergo a clinical trial in a last ditch effort to eradicate the cancer.

By Aug. 23, 2018, Philip received a diagnosis that there was no evidence of the disease.

This Steigerwald family learned through a television interview that the clinical trial was funded in part by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

"It was just huge to find out they have given him his life. We were ecstatic," Hoffman said.

The Lemonade Stand Foundation website says the foundation sprouted from a lemonade stand held in the front yard of 4-year-old Alexandra "Alex" Scott, who'd been diagnosed with neuroblastoma before she turned 1.

To date, the foundation has funded nearly 1,000 research projects at 135 institutions across the U.S. and Canada.