CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — The prostate cancer diagnosis was, to be clear, the biggest problem for Michael Reifsnyder.

But all the smaller problems were problems nonetheless. Like the beer hops he wouldn’t be able to harvest at GEMS Farm, which he owns and runs with his wife, Sharon.

“I was accepting the fact that they could just end up rotting on the vine,” Michael Reifsnyder said.

Instead, on the eve of prostate cancer surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, brewers who usually buy GEMS hops went to the farm to help harvest them manually for free. In turn, they’ll get the hops for free. And in exchange for that, they plan to donate some of the money they earn selling the beer to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

One of the participating breweries is Lindgren Craft Brewing in Duncannon, Perry County.

“Mike [Lingren] is a retired Navy chief-turned-veteran farmer, and my dad was a Navy pilot-turned-veteran farmer,” Michael Lindgren, a co-founder and brewer, said. “So we all have a passion for beer, and they had a camaraderie. And then the farming aspect really brought everybody together.”

It’s been quite a year for the Reifsnyders. Not long before Michael’s prostate cancer diagnosis — which his doctors initially hoped might not require surgery — Sharon Reifsnyder fought breast cancer. Both Reifsnyders have good prognoses, for which they credit early detection — in Michael’s case, a routine PSA blood test detected an abnormality.

In addition to Lindgren, the Molly Pitcher and Back Porch breweries, both of Carlisle, are participating, as are Aldus Brewing of Hanover and 1937 Brewing of Wilmington, Delaware.

Someone coming all the way from Delaware to help save the hop harvest?

“It’s very humbling to see the response we’ve gotten,” Sharon Reifsnyder said.

The Reifsnyders are also Iron Valley realtors, and sure enough, company owners and fellow realtors helped harvest hops too.

Why St. Jude’s? Because — the Reifsnyders explained — they have good health insurance for their own health issues, so they’d rather help someone else, particularly children facing cancer. And they had firsthand knowledge of St. Jude’s work from their time stationed with the Navy near Memphis, where the organization is headquartered and has its primary hospital.