SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A South Philadelphia business wants to raise awareness and donors for a cause that hits close to home.
It's loud, it's packed and it's not even the lunch hour yet at John's Roast Pork in South Philadelphia. John Bucci Jr. is on the grill. He is a third generation owner of what some locals still call 'The Shack on Synder.' It's been there almost 90 years.
"The wooden shack was right there, these tables were like literally you can fit only 2 or 3 people in there," he said. "99% of our clientele were men, blue collar workers, women were afraid to come in here."
Now, production crews come in and out. The Travel Network's Food Paradise is shooting for twp upcoming episodes. The Food Network recently wrapped another shoot. New found national, even global fame.
"We're still just a mom and pop shop," Bucci said.
Bucci says he didn't realize how much he loves being here until cancer almost took him out.
"I'm just lucky to be alive," he said.
Thanks to a bone marrow donor, Bucci is coming up on 10 years cancer-free, but says he's stunned at how many on the waiting list don't make it because donor shortages, particularly among some ethnic groups.
"7%' .. 7-percent. The doctors have the tools to beat some of these blood cancer, but they just don't have the donors."
Bucci working on a plan to do something to help.
"We'd like to have where people come and get their cheeks swabbed that day and get on the registry."
Sandwich sales will also be donated to raise awareness and research. He says people could give money but he'll be looking for a greater gift.
"We'd rather get people to sign-up. Money's money, but donors are much more important than money."