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Eagle Scout project benefits cancer patients

Ryan Dunlap, son of staff member Jason Dunlap, was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2015, and spent a lot of time cooped up in the hospital. He is in remission and is leading a very busy high school life.

In planning his Eagle Scout project for Troop 161 in Muhlenberg, he knew he wanted to give something back, so he met with Karen Wagner, Director of Oncology. While a patient at Penn State Hershey, he was given a bag that had lots of items to help him pass the time, and he wanted to do something similar for our adult cancer patients. His goal was to stuff 30 bags with items for the patients.

Ryan drew from his own experience, and asked other cancer survivors for their advice. Together, they drew up a list of requested items, and placed collection boxes in several staff areas in the hospital and at his church.

Dunlap, along with some fellow scouts, family, and friends, filled the goodie bags on Tuesday morning, far surpassing his original 30 bag goal. Thanks to his willing heart, and the donations of many, they were able to fill 146 bags with lots of snacks, adult coloring books, word search books, pens, tablets, gum, hard candies, toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues, and a myriad of other items.

The patients were thrilled to receive the bags, and were even more touched when they heard Ryan’s story. A note accompanied each one that ended, “I send my best wishes to you, and remember, never ever give up!”

Four scouts from Boy Scout Troop 161 gave out goodie bags to outpatients in the chemo room Tuesday morning. The project was part of Ryan Dunlap’s Eagle Scout project. Left to right: Ryan Dunlap, scout and cancer survivor; Tom Manno, cancer survivor; Christian Dunlap, Betty Manno, Tom’s wife; Brian Koenig, and Christopher Kachel.
Ryan Dunlap and his fellow scouts are surrounded by Cancer Center staff Tuesday morning, after creating 146 goodie bags for cancer patients.

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