Meet 15-year-old brain tumor survivor Austin, who recently earned his Eagle Scout rank, the Boy Scouts highest award.
For those who don’t know, to achieve the Eagle Scout rank, one must plan and complete a service project that helps the community. This plan has to show leadership ability of the scout seeking this award/rank.
After much thought, Austin decided to raise a 35-foot flagpole to fly the American flag, the Georgia state flag and the Papal flag of the Catholic Church. Austin decided to sell engraved bricks that would be placed at the base of the flagpole. Austin’s initial idea was to purchase food for his church’s food pantry with the money raised, but was pleasantly surprised by the amount of money he raised and decided to continue to share the love. He was puzzled at first, but the choice soon became clear to him.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with a non-cancerous brain tumor, by a man who isn’t just my doctor, but a person who I consider to be a good friend, Dr. Tucker. Dr. Tucker discovered the tumor by seeing swelling behind my eye. I was told to go straight to Children’s Health care of Atlanta.
After the procedure was done I was told that I had beaten the odds. On the night when I walked in the hospital the doctors didn’t even think that I would live long enough for them to perform the surgery. However, due to my extraordinary stubbornness, and my love of hockey I didn’t only live through the surgery I had one of the fastest recoveries the doctors had ever seen. I was in the hospital a grand total of six days, and only missed one hockey game the entire season.
That was four years ago in November and I’m glad to say there has been no growth or reappearance of any tumors. So when I had the money left from my project I knew I wanted to help people with brain tumors, and the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children seemed like the best option, and it was. The Brain Tumor Foundation for Children is truly, in my opinion, one of the best organizations in the country.
Austin, along with his grandparents, came to the BTFC office with one of the best gifts of the 2010 holiday season, a check for $1,000 to be used for the Butterfly Fund, BTFC’s financial assistance program. We were not only excited to meet another of our survivors, but to thank him in person for using his creativity and leadership skills to help us continue supporting BTFC families.
Way to go Austin!