Battling Cancer with Brews

Lindsay Ronchi, an ex-ballerina and craft beer aficionado, has been busy brewing a new craft beer. This lager has an amazing story behind it—born out of courage, love, and hope, with a robust will to live. “Put Me In Coach” is the new hoppy pilsner thought up and brewed by Lindsay as an ode to her father, Rich.

Lindsay, an avid ballerina for over 10 years, decided to hang up her ballet shoes in exchange for something a little more fulfilling and near and dear to her heart. Lindsay now works for a brewery in NYC called Barrier Brewing Company. This craft brewery produces over 50 locally distributed beers to the surrounding states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. It is here, at Barrier, where Lindsay had the idea to brew her own beer with its own story—a beer brewed for her father, Rich Ronchi.

Rich, a former high school football coach, has been battling a rare form of blood cancer known as MDS or Myelodysplastic syndrome. This type of blood cancer is often unrecognized and under-diagnosed; only identified when the body no longer produces enough healthy, normal blood cells in the patient’s bone marrow. While receiving treatment at Jefferson, Rich learned of Nick’s House in Swarthmore and decided that would be him and his wife, Colleen’s, best option. After 5 intensive rounds of chemo, Rich would then be told he needed a bone marrow transplant. Luckily enough, Lindsay was a match. She later made the trip from NYC to Nick’s House where she stayed 8 days while harvesting her bone marrow for her father.

HEADstrong and Nick’s House has been a blessing for the Ronchi family, allowing them to stick together through one of the hardest times of their lives. Nick’s House has brought comfort, solace, and commonality to the members of the Ronchi family, helping to extend Rich’s life as well as extend the Ronchi family with Nick’s House volunteers.

“Put Me In Coach” is Lindsay’s way of combining two of her favorite things—her dad and her love of beer. The beer debuted at over 15 local bars in NYC that each holds a special place in the Ronchi family’s hearts. The graphic associated with the pilsner depicts Lindsay’s dad, circa 1972, coaching for the Lackawanna Trail Lions. “Put Me In Coach” is a reminder to never give up and always stick together—even in the worst of times.