CALDWELL, NJ — An 11-year-old Caldwell resident recently took to the mat to raise funds in memory of a friend who lost her battle with cancer.
Christian Stocker, who will be entering fifth grade at Grover Cleveland Middle School in Caldwell this fall, has been wrestling for less than two years; but in that time, he's made great strides in the sport.
As a wrestler for Caldwell Recreation, Stocker entered this summer's national Pin Cancer Tournament, which raises money for St. Jude's Research Hospital.
Each wrestler entered in the tournament, which was held in Easton, Pa., has a chance to raise money for the cause. The tournament attracts youth wrestlers from all over the United States.
According to his mother, Michelle, Stocker raised $1,200 by selling bracelets in honor of a family friend named Monique who passed away after a fight with cancer. Stocker was one of the top fundraisers in the tournament and also placed third in his bracket.
At the Pin Cancer Nationals each August, wrestlers sign up and then claim a fundraising page, which is how the Caldwell youngster raised $1,200.
Pin Cancer was founded in 2011 by former wrestler Dan Tramontozzi after learning that his mother, Margie, was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer. Since inception, the organization has raised more than $2 million, with proceeds going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Pin Cancer is now a registered 501(c)3 charity enabling wrestlers to bring attention to, and raise funds for, the treatment and research of childhood cancer.