Community rallies around Lingenberg family

8/31/2017 | Chris Miracle

Category: September 2017

Justin Lingenberg
Reminder Publications submitted photo

Fundraising efforts continue for one local high school athlete currently battling cancer.

Justin Lingenberg, a 16-year-old junior at Agawam High School, was diagnosed with pediatric glioma earlier this summer. A member of the Agawam boys’ volleyball team, Lingenberg was playing for the West volleyball team at the Bay State Games on July 8, when he began experiencing headaches. An MRI a couple of weeks later revealed that Lingenberg had a tumor on his brain.

He was transferred to Boston Children's Hospital on July 31, and on Aug. 3 Justin underwent surgery to remove some of the tumor from his brain. He was to undergo another surgery to relieve pressure within the next few days. While continuing his treatment Justin and his parents, Jen and Tom, will stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Brookline.

A YouCaring page is set up at to help his parents with the financial obligations that will come with his treatment and recovery.

“Every day we think of and pray for Justin and try to think of ways to help. As we continue to pray for a complete recovery, we want to support him and his family anyway we can. We want them to be able to get the best possible treatment and this means staying with him in Boston for at least six weeks,” according to fund organizer Julie Pavoni.

“I ask that you consider donating whatever you can to help during this extremely difficult time.  Justin is an amazing young man that would do anything for his friends and family or even complete strangers. He is everything you would want your son to be. Please pray that Justin makes a complete recovery so he can continue his life of playing volleyball and hanging out with the many, many people that love him so much.”

According to Pavoni, the YouCaring page will remain open after the initial goal of $30,000 is reached because the treatment plan will last for quite a while. Justin is now undergoing radiation five days a week. He will continue with radiation until Oct 4. After the radiation, the plan is to continue treatment with chemotherapy.  All of the treatment is taking place at Dana Farber.

Jen, Justin's mom, has said that the community response has been overwhelming.  They are staying positive with the help of family and friends.  

“We are trying to do whatever we can for Justin and his family because the last thing that we want them to worry about is the financial obligations that are associated with a child diagnosed with cancer,” Pavoni said. “Justin is a great kid. He could be any of our children and it is so unfair that he has to go through this. We are asking for positive thoughts and prayers as he fights this beast.”

Fore Justin, a golf tournament benefitting Justin Lingenberg, is set to take place at the Tekoa Country Club in Westfield on Oct. 14 at 12:30 p.m. Bob Lingenberg, Justin's uncle, is coordinating the golf tournament with the hope of continuing to raise funds for his nephew and his nephew's family.

The Fore Justin Golf Tournament will feature a shotgun start and 36 teams of four. For $90 per person, participants will get a round of golf, a cart, a buffet, music by Excalibur DJ Services, as well as raffles, prizes and more.

Janel Jorda, owner of Web-tactics, Inc. in Easthampton is helping with the tournament, and asking any local businesses or individuals interested in donating raffle prizes come to her office Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Web-tactics is located at 83 Main St. in Easthampton.

Checks for the tournament can be made out to Bob Lingenberg and mailed to 36 Foss Ave., Chicopee, MA 01013. The names of all four people in the foursome must be included with the check. The flyer for the tournament can be found here.

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