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Cancer patients treated to Christmas cheer from former patient

Published On: Dec 12 2013 12:04:46 PM CST

Cancer patients treated to gifts

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A former Lehigh Valley Hospital patient is continuing his quest to "pay it forward" to the people who are walking in his shoes.

Bruce Smith of Easton began the "Pathways to Santa" program four years ago, after he underwent treatment for lung cancer at the hospital's Muhlenberg campus in Bethlehem.

He petitions local businesses for gift cards for services and goods ranging from oil changes to movie tickets to flowers and more.

Those gift cards are then distributed among the hospital's cancer patients-- to spread a little holiday cheer.

This year, Smith received more than $30,000 in donations.

In addition to getting gift cards, some patients were treated to visits from Santa Claus and local mascots during Wednesday's event at the hospital.