ATLANTIC CITY — Dozens of family members, friends and beachgoers gathered Wednesday in front of Bally’s to honor Chad Juros, an Egg Harbor Township resident who beat leukemia — twice.
His mother, Penny, entered him in a contest with “Good Morning America” called “Above and Beyond,” his family said. Juros, 27, won out of 100 entrants and was surprised from a spot in Bally’s to see a crowd on the beach yelling and cheering. The group formed an outline of a deck of cards in the sand.
Juros was selected because of his Spread the Magic Foundation, a program that provides magic shows for pediatric oncology wards, where children stay during cancer treatment. It was the same thing his father did when Juros fought cancer, but his father later died from a malignant brain tumor.
Juros was diagnosed with leukemia at age 3 and went into remission a year later, said his stepfather, Michael Bilker. Juros relapsed at age 7 and lived at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for 17 months during his second battle with cancer. He ended up winning that fight, too.
Bilker called Juros a person everyone wants to adopt as a son or brother for the things he does.
“The fact that he survived is a wonder in itself,” Bilker said.
His great-uncle, Mel Burgis, agreed.
“He’s going to be pretty stunned and blown away,” Burgis said. “What they are doing for him is crazy. It’s a ‘pay it forward’ kind of deal. We want to make him feel the same way he has made others feel.”
As the group paraded around the beach, the message was clear: Juros is a good-hearted man, Burgis said.
“He’s a guy that would do anything for anybody.”