A man battling cancer gave away his free pizza prize — and got more pizza in return.

For a fleeting moment leaving the chemotherapy treatment center, Josh Katrick forgot about the year he'd been having.

He'd just gotten an email telling him that — out of roughly 1,200 names — his was the one randomly selected from a raffle at Mario's Pizza in Northampton, Pennsylvania. A lot of free pizza was coming his way.

The family-owned local hot spot had held a promotion giving away two large pizzas and one two-liter beverage every month throughout 2017.  


"I remember coming out of [the chemo treatment center] thinking, 'I just won pizzas for a year!'" Katrick told WFMZ-TV 69 News of that moment in early December. "'That's cool!'"

Photo via Mario's Pizza, used with permission.

For Katrick, the news came amid quite a surreal few months.

The 36-year-old learned he has colon cancer in July. He had surgery in August and has since completed seven of 12 rounds of chemotherapy, NBC 10 News reported.

Photo via Mario's Pizza, used with permission.

"It’s been a fast time," he told the outlet. "It still feels like the blink of an eye."

Most people would argue a guy like Katrick is more than deserving of a few free slices considering what he's been through lately.

Katrick, however, had other plans in mind.

Katrick asked Mario's — his favorite pizza joint in town — if his free pizza could be given to the Northampton Area Food Bank instead.

"I've been getting so much from family, friends — people I don't even know well — the last few months," he explained to WFMZ, that he didn't think a year's worth of free pizza should be spent on him.

GIF via WFMZ.

At first, Frank Grigoli, a manager and co-owner's son at Mario's, didn't know what to make of the request.

Before he knew Katrick wanted the pizza to be given to the food bank, Grigoli was a bit befuddled. Mario's has been in business 37 years, after all, and quality is baked into every bite — why would someone pass on a delicious free lunch?

After learning it was about helping Northampton's most vulnerable people, however, Grigoli says Katrick's request brought "tears of joy." "This guy has a big heart," he said.

Still, something was bothering him. "That night, I went to sleep and something didn’t feel right," Grigoli admits. The next day, he decided, "we’re gonna give [Katrick] a gift.”

Photo via Mario's Pizza, used with permission.

Inspired by Katrick's selfless deed, Mario's decided to give both Katrick and the food bank a free year of pizza.

"It's better to give than receive," said Giuseppe Aiello, whose father, Giovanni, co-owns the restaurant. "Especially during this time of year — Christmas — it's a great time to think about that and see examples of it around town."

The food bank can choose between having either the same deal Katrick won or throwing a pizza party with the entire year's worth of food and drinks — 24 large pizzas complemented with 12 two-liters — all at once, Grigoli tells Welcometoterranova. So all in all, Mario's is giving away 48 pies to very deserving recipients next year.

Photo via Mario's Pizza, used with permission.

Free pizzas aside, things are looking good for Katrick in 2017.

Feeling better with the holidays here, and more than halfway through his chemo treatments, Katrick is expected to make a full recovery, according to NBC 10 News.

Regardless of his prognosis, though, Katrick is someone who always wants to see the glass as half-full.

“The old attitude of, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade," he said. "Life gave me pizza, so I made peace.”

Watch WFMZ-TV 69 News' report on Katrick's story below:

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less

Sir David Attenborough has one of the most recognized and beloved voices in the world. The British broadcaster and nature historian has spent most of his 94 years on Earth educating humanity about the wonders of the natural world, inspiring multiple generations to care about the planet we all call home.

And now, Attenborough has made a new name for himself. Not only has he joined the cool kids on Instagram, he's broken the record for reaching a million followers in the shortest period. It only took four hours and 44 minutes, which is less time than it took Jennifer Aniston, who held the title before him at 5 hours and 16 minutes.

A day later, Attenborough is sitting at a whopping 3.4 million followers. And he only has two Instagram posts so far, both of them videos. But just watch his first one and you'll see why he's attracted so many fans.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less

One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

Keep Reading Show less