Austin Thacker, local eighth grader struggling with cancer, remains in high spirits.

Courtesy photo

(Austin's Army) by: Jennifer Parker: So far, Austin is doing well following his most recent treatment. He's in good spirits, has a strong sense of humor, and has avoided any serious side effects. Thanks for all your prayers on that score! The doctors have said he has one more treatment, beginning Oct. 31 and lasting 5 days. This one will probably be more difficult. It would be a really awesome 15th birthday present if he could be done with all treatments in November, be declared cancer-free, and ring the gong at the Children's Center.

Back story: Austin Thacker, 14, was diagnosed April 12, 2013 with non-Hodgkin's Diffused Mature B Cell Lymphoma. He has tumors in his head, chest, lungs, kidneys, and spinal column. His parents have limited insurance and will end up paying a sizeable portion out of pocket. The doctors are also strongly recommending that he receive a shot with each chemo treatment that will help boost his blood counts. This shot, which he will need 6-10 times, is not covered by insurance and will cost $3800 each time it is administered. Despite the challenges he faces, Austin is not defined or intimidated by his cancer. Instead, he chooses to focus on his faith, his family, his love of writing, and playing soccer. He has already begun a journal of his experiences as a cancer patient and hopes to help other kids in his situation in the future. Please consider donating and joining Austin's Army in the battle against cancer.

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