Man with Cancer Wins Free Pizza For A Year and Donates Every Slice

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Just before Christmas, Josh Katrick won something most people only dream about: free pizza for a year from his favorite neighborhood pizza shop. But instead of pigging out on pizza for a year, Katrick, who is currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer, decided to give it all away to a local food bank.

Katrick, 36, was leaving his treatment center after a chemotherapy session when he received an email from Mario’s Pizza in Northampton, Pennsylvania informing him that he won the pizza shop’s contest giving away free pizza for a year.

“I remember coming out of there thinking, ‘I just won pizzas for a year! That’s cool!'” says Katrick, who was randomly selected by a computer from more than 1,200 contestants.

After the initial excitement of winning two large (massive is actually more accurate) pizzas and soda per month for the next year, Katrick reflected on all the support he’s received since his cancer diagnosis in July and decided to pay it forward.

“I’ve been getting so much from family, friends, people I don’t even know well, the last few months,” Katrick says. “Getting so much love and support, I just wanted to give back to people that could use it more than I could.”

The restaurant was surprised when Katrick asked about giving away it away, but when Katrick told them he wanted to donate the pizza to the Northampton Food Bank, the restaurant was on board. In fact, Mario’s Pizza decided to double its offer so that both Katrick and the food bank could receive a year’s worth of pizza.

“It’s better to give than receive, and especially during this time of year – Christmas – it’s a great time to think about that and see examples of it around town,” said Giuseppe Aiello, who helps manage Mario’s and whose father is a co-owner.

“You know the saying, ‘When life gives you lemons make lemonade,’ well, when life gives you pizza, give away a slice,” Katrick pontificates.

Not surprisingly, even after Mario’s pledge to give free pizza to both him and the food bank, Katrick is still unsure about indulging himself. “Maybe I’ll share with my friends on Facebook,” he said. “Make a contest of my own to see if anyone would like some pizza.”