For Old Forge resident Bobby Giacometti, the support of his colleagues in the Old Forge School District has been overwhelming as the 30-year-old battles an unwelcome enemy for the second time in his life - having recently undergone brain surgery to remove a stage-three astrocytoma tumor. He is currently receiving chemotherapy treatments.
During the month of November, many of his male co-workers have been participating in "No Shave November," a fundraiser to aid the sixth-grade math teacher with financial help as he undergoes additional treatments.
Started by Chris Gatto, containers have been placed in rooms throughout the school to see which class can raise the most money. The class that raises the most money will also earn a dress-down day.
"I think the whole concept is amazing," he said. "I just can't believe how wonderful everyone at school and my family and friends and people in the general throughout the town are being to me as I go through this. It has been extremely humbling."
Giacometti, who went through a similar ordeal at the age of 22, considers himself a fighter, promising his friends, family and students, "It may take a while, but I'll be back."
With no history of this type of cancer in his family, the tumor was discovered through routine follow-ups and was removed several weeks ago in Philadelphia.
According to Giacometti, the chemotherapy has been challenging, but he is taking it one step at a time.
"It's hard to keep a positive attitude, but people help a lot with that," he said.
"I just want to thank everyone for everything they've done," he said. "It means more to me than words could ever express."
"Live everyday, each moment for the moment," he said.