Guyton Family Fights Childhood Cancer Together - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Guyton Family Fights Childhood Cancer Together

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and each week we have shared with you the courageous story of a family in our area that has been touched by the disease.

Some have made it through and their stories have ended--but today, I met with a family whose story is just beginning.

This is the story of Austin McDonald of Guyton.

His parents say Austin has loads of energy; always on the go.

So when he started complaining of back pain at the end of August, his parents thought he just over did it.

"We didn't know what to think," says his dad, Bill.

"We thought maybe it was a strain or a pulled muscle in the back, so we gave him some Tylenol and a heating pad to try to relieve some of the pain."

But soon the back pain led to falling---and in a matter of weeks the energetic 8-year-old began to slow down. His parents knew something wasn't right.

"He was more frustrated because he didn't understand what was going on and neither could we," Bill says.

Then doctors found the tumor. On Friday, August 30th of this year, their lives changed. They were supposed to go to Atlanta for a fun filled weekend. Instead he was flown to Children's Hospital of Atlanta to start cancer treatment.

His dad explains.

"It's called Ewing Sarcoma. From what I read about it about 250 kids come down with it. Is a bone related cancer."

Ewing Sarcoma is a cell tumor that usually forms around the pelvis, femur, tibia and the humerus. In a rare chance, Austin's tumor grew on his thoracic 6 vertebra, which pressed on his nerves, causing his legs to become paralyzed.

"I want people to know if it could happen to my kid, it could easily happen to yours," says Bill.

"So hug them tight, life is short and time is precious."

Austin is still up in Atlanta with his mom for treatment. Bill, is a police officer and works two jobs with both the Guyton and the Springfield Police Department, so he can't be there through his son's treatment.

Austin will be going through chemo therapy for 28 weeks.

"It's been really hard. I haven't seen my other son in more than a week and a half."

After chemotherapy in Atlanta, Austin need radiation, and that means more time away---this time in Jacksonville.

The Springfield and Guyton Police Departments are hosing fundraisers for the McDonald family.

A catfish tournament will be held September 22nd from 4-5 p.m. at Tuckasee King Landing. Registration is $50 per boat.

Then on October 5th from 1-9 p.m. get in on a corn hole tournament for a good cause. The cost is $30 a team.

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