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Community works to help eighth grade cancer patient

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

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After 14-year-old Austin Thacker, of Legacy Traditional School , was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Diffused Mature B Cell Lymphoma, fellow students and the community have come together to make things a little easier on the family. 

Austin has tumors in his spinal column, lungs, chest, kidneys and head. He is currently receiving chemotherapy and other forms of treatment. All of this is adding up for expensive medical bills that cannot all be covered solely by insurance. Therefore, friends of the Thacker family have put together a fundraiser night at Sauce on June 4 from 5 to 9 p.m. 

Scott Billings, whose son is best friends with Austin, is heading up the fundraiser. Billings said 20 percent of the proceeds from the night will go to the Thacker family. The fundraiser will be at the Sauce at Ina  and Oracle roads.

“We want to help in anyway we can,” said Billings. “We’re wanting to do the fundraiser in order to help pay for the medical bills. The goal is to raise $250,000, which are the immediate bills that are owed.”

Apart from the fundraiser night, people can go to any Wells Fargo Bank branch and donate to the Austin Thacker Donation Fund. Another place people can donate is online at gofundme.com/2pwoqc, which is a website set up by Austin’s godmother, Jennifer Packer.

Austin’s gofundme page is called Austin’s Army. The page gives updated information on how Austin is doing, as well as how much money has been raised and the amount of money they hope to reach.

According to his mom, Jennifer Thacker, Austin went into the intensive care unit on Saturday, May 4, due to multiple infections. His white blood count was down to zero; he had pneumonia in the right lung, and throat and stomach infections. 

After several tough days, Austin is said to be feeling better.

“He is stable right now and is still in good spirits,” Jennifer said. “He is trying to stay upbeat with all that’s going on.”

Austin was moved from the ICU on May 10 into a regular room. His blood count is still low, but slowly he is improving. 

The Thacker family said they are grateful for all the prayers and support.

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

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