New Cumberland fifth-grader treated to reverse trick-or-treat on night before surgery

Carlisle/West Shore

NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. (WHTM) — New Cumberland’s trick-or-treat — like so many others — was rained out for Thursday and moved to Saturday. For most kids, it was no big deal, but for a West Shore School District fifth-grader, it was his last chance for fun. That’s when his neighbors stepped in.

Ten-year-old Mason Fickes has a rare and aggressive, but thankfully benign tumor in his shoulder bone. He was scheduled for surgery on Friday, so when Neighborhood his trick-or-treat was canceled, he was bummed.

“I’m getting the bone cleaned out and getting the tumor removed,” Mason said.

His mother posted on Facebook, looking for a trunk-or-treat that Mason could go to so he didn’t miss out on the holiday. “Instead of me going out in the rain, people were nice enough to come out to my house and bring us a bunch of candy,” Mason said.

“There [were] 200 plus comments on Facebook when I left my house to head up. Just the overwhelming response for a child is absolutely amazing,” said Erika Shambaugh, who lives in New Cumberland. Shambaugh helped organize the event because she knows what it’s like to hurt for a son.

“My son was very, very, very into Halloween, and he lost his life to the overdose epidemic in April,” Shambaugh said. Her son, Austin, was just 22 when he died.

“He participated in any and every Halloween activity, and I know 100 percent that he would have been the one organizing this if he was here to do it,” Shambaugh said.

So, she did it, and she was far from alone. The New Cumberland Police and Fire Department showed up to send their well wishes — candy and sirens in tow.

Still, Mason’s haul was the most impressive of them all. So surgery doesn’t have a thing on a batch of sugary sweets.

“I would say he’s going to have candy well into his recovery — that’s for sure,” Shambaugh said.

“I feel a lot better. I get all this candy,” Mason said.

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