Making a Difference: 'Cancerversary' prom to celebrate, raise money for cancer research


JOHNSTOWN -- A Cambria County woman was excited more than 10 years ago to find out that she was pregnant with her second son.

But her excitement quickly turned to worry when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Since then, she's beat the disease and decided to throw a special celebration.

For a lot of women, it's an exciting time.

“I'm like OK, he's growing,” said Angelina Shilcosky, who was pregnant in 2005 with her second son, Isaiah.

“I always call him my little angel. He saved my life."

Everything was going smoothly until three months into her pregnancy, when doctors noticed that something was off. It wasn't her baby who was the concern; it was her.

“I could see his mouth moving, but no sound,” she said. “It was like, leukemia. I was like, that's cancer. I was just like, you know, in a fog."

Doctors had Shilcosky wait until Isaiah was born before she could begin chemotherapy.

“(I had) monthly bloodwork and doctor’s appointments," she said.

She was cancer free in six months.

“I look back and I think, ‘How did I do that’?” she said. “I had a 2-year-old at home, and being pregnant, I think just being a mother I had to be strong."

And although she beat cancer, for her, the fight wasn't over.

She decided to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night” walk and formed the team "Agent Orange."

“The Carmen Sandiego cartoon, she’s our mascot,” Shilcosky said, describing the team logo. "She looks like her and carries around a magnifying glass and she's searching for a cure. So that's where it came from."

Over the years, Shilcosky has started numerous benefits and raised thousands of dollars to help other families struggling with cancer.

This year, marks her 10th year of being cancer free. To celebrate, Shilcosky is hosting a “Cancerversary" adult prom.

It will be held June 17 at the St. Michael Sportsmen’s Club. The goal is to raise $7,000.

All the money will go toward her team for the Light the Night walk in October.

“We still need money for research. We've spent over a billion dollars on research and we've made tremendous strides,” she said. “But we're not there yet."

For information on the adult prom, send an email to Shilcosky at

If you know of someone, a group or an organization that is making a difference where you live, let us know by clicking here. You can also nominate them for a Jefferson Award to recognize them for outstanding service.

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