Grateful for all the support I received

Never in a million years did I think I would have heard the words “you have cancer.” But I did one morning in April of this year. I had just turned 21 years old and was waiting to get called back to a job that I loved, dealing with some back pain that I thought was a result of playing physical sports since I was young and the hard work and long hours that I was putting in.

The day I learned I had cancer was one of the hardest in my life. I didn’t know why and what was to come. I found out very quickly though that I have an awesome family and friends and I live in a great community. It is very hard to reach everyone with a note of thanks, but ai wanted to send out some thank you’s and I thought this was a great way to do it.

First, I would like to thank two of my long-time, very close friends, Austin Brand and Richie Lee and their parents for creating a T-shirt and selling them to raise money for me as I am not able to work while getting treatment. I was shocked at how many T-shirts were sold, but not shocked at all the love and support that my friends and their families have shown me and continue to do so. That being said, I also want to thank everyone that purchased a T-shirt. It truly means a lot.

I would also like to thank Mike and Christine Van Valkenburgh of C & M Bottle Return. In June of this year, after talking to my Aunt Jill, they put a sign outside of their business that said they would give six cents instead of five cents to anyone who donated their bottles and cans as a fundraiser for me. They have gotten such an overwhelming response that they continue to do this today and I can’t thank them enough. Thank you also to everyone that has donated their bottles and cans.

Last but not least, I want to also thank the Fernandez family again for allowing me to hunt and take a deer of a lifetime on their property and allowing my father to experience that with me. Coming from a family of hunters and hunting ever since I was old enough, this was an experience I will be forever grateful for and will never again.

Until you go through something like this, you never realize how many people truly care about you. My family and I have been overwhelmed by the support, whether it’s a gift card, money, a prayer card or a card with a nice message of encouragement, love and support — it just really means a lot and my family and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.