15:43 PM

“Pathway to Santa” Celebrates Holidays and Health at Muhlenberg

Santa and holiday season pageantry arrived early to Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Muhlenberg today, thanks to a former cancer patient who wanted to thank staff for the care that cured him.

A parade of sports, entertainment and business mascots traveled the hospital halls, stopping to bring tidings of joy and lighten the day for patients, visitors and staff. Vocal and instrumental ensembles from local high schools added to the festive feeling, with rousing renditions of favorite Christmas carols. Patients received free gift cards to local businesses, all provided through the efforts of former LVH–Muhlenberg patient, Bruce Smith.

Smith, 68, of Palmer Township, says this “labor of love” is his way of giving back. This was the eighth year the self-described “Secret Santa” spearheaded the “Pathway to Santa” celebration, and it will be his last. All told, he has raised approximately $260, 000 in gift cards for Lehigh Valley Health Network cancer patients, including $67,000 this year. Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer more than a decade ago. After treatment at LVH–Muhlenberg, “the tumor disappeared,” Smith says, which inspired his generous holiday project.