The "Hirtes Hike" is an annual charity event by the Toms River North Boys Lacrosse team. The event was originally created for Mrs. Maureen Hirtes who lost her battle with cancer and was the mother of eleven children. Now other families in the area are in desperate need. And you can help.

All the proceeds of this event will be donated to the selected families the event supports, and donations from all are welcome.

A teacher in the district has shared the story of why she is participating:

"One of the families being helped is very near and dear to another teacher and me. Faith Wavershak lost her mother, Leah, to colon cancer last month. She is 7 years old and is in one of my second grade classes this year. She is a special little girl and our hearts absolutely break for her.

Faith's parents were high school sweethearts. They married and tried starting a family but had difficulty getting pregnant. After some time, they decided to adopt a little girl. Then a little boy. A few more years passed and Leah miraculously got pregnant at the age of 38. Hence the name 'Faith'.

In her final few days, Leah was convinced that God didn't give her three beautiful children just to take her away from them. Heartbreaking."

Leah's husband Pat is holding down two jobs in order to support the family amidst a mound of medical bills.

Other families being helped:

Paige Hailey Franklin, who is a student at Toms River High School South has been diagnosed with metastasized brain cancer. Her mother passed away several years ago and now her grandmother can no longer meet the physical demands or transportation needs for Paige's medical problems.

The Nagle Family: Martha Nagle is a single parent and sole caretaker of her four children. She has been permanently disabled since 2000.  Her medical bills are overwhelming.

The GaNun Family: Jeana GaNun is the mother of three young children and has been stricken with a rare disease that affects every cell in the body.  She is in the very advanced stage of this disease and is no longer able to help her husband and mother care for the family.

For more information on how you can help, go to www.hirteshike.com