PULLIN' for AUT
Do Something Sweet This Valentine's Day
Support the : Austin Hunt Benefit
Saturday February 16, 2013
at the Middlefield Market Pavilion
15864 Nauvoo Rd., Middlefield OH 44062
Pasta Dinner, Chinese Auction, 50/50 Raffles, Side Boards & more...
Dinner Served 4pm-7pm
All Raffles will start at 7pm
Dinner Donations : $ 15.00 per person or $25.00 per couple
Dinner tickets available at:
Flip Flop Cove Tanning 15065 Kinsman Rd. Middlefield,OH 44062
The Frank Agency located in the Middlefield Bank Plaza
The Flag Store, LLC 10739 Kinsman Rd. Newbury OH 44065
CAPPS Pizza 12797 Mayfield Rd. Chardon OH 44024
BT Oil 15525 West High St. Middlefield, OH 44062
For More Information Contact
Nicole Marker (440) 667-8950, Kitty Rose (440) 636-5072,
Monique Soltis (440) 313-2532 or Mike Soltis (440) 313-2813
~All proceeds are going to Austin Hunt's Family to help defray medical expenses~
***** WE NEED YOUR HELP*****
We are in need of community support to make this event a success. There are many ways you can help! Monetary donations as well as item donations are being accepted immediatly. A bank account in Austin's name has also been set up at the Middlefield Banking company. For monetary donations please contact Mike Soltis (440) 313-2813 or visit Middlefield Banking Company. To donate Chinese auction items, silent auction items, large raffle items or to sponsor a side board please contact Stephanie Austin (440) 321-9122 Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated!! Please continue to keep "PULLIN' FOR AUT"
In July of 2012 Austin Hunt, a 15 year old boy from Burton Ohio , had his life forever changed. He learned then that he had a life threatening form of cancer called “T” Cell Lymphoma. Let’s pull together to show this family our support!
Events Leading to Austin's Diagnosis
By: Nicole Marker & Ken Hunt
It is our family tradition that every 4th of July we camp with our friends and family. The boys at camp each year look forward to summer haircuts. They all get their hair cut in crazy ways that they normally wouldn’t do during the school year. We had no idea what this year’s haircut was going to lead to. Austin chose a Mohawk, a repeat favorite since he was little. I can remember meeting Austin, when he was 4 years old, every summer a Mohawk has been his choice. After the Mohawk this year, we noticed that Austin had a bump on his head. When we asked how he got it he told us he bumped it at some point during our week long camping trip. He really couldn’t give us specifics of how he got the bump. At first we didn’t think much of it until it started to grow. Two weeks later the bump had doubled in size. We inspected Austin’s head more and noticed that there were more bumps starting to develop. We immediately made an appointment that day for a doctor to look at them.
After the doctor looked at the bumps, he told us he thought it was just a cyst. Fairly common, but referred us to a surgeon for removal. Austin was scheduled and did have the bump removed on Friday, July 27,2012 . The bump was removed easily . The doctor still did not have too much concern about it. We decided to go on with our plans for that weekend.
That weekend we planned to go camping locally, as a family, before all of the school activities started in August. Each school year our lives revolved around volleyball, football games, work and school. Having two teenagers in the house, I am sure you can imagine how busy the school year can be. Friday night, the 27th, Austin started to feel like he was getting a cold. He was having trouble sleeping. He felt like he couldn’t breathe. I could hear him wheezing and coughing. I thought maybe he was developing allergies. But, by 6 am, Saturday morning I had taken Austin home. I made him a cup of tea and he took a hot shower. When he got out of the shower he said he was feeling better. We went to the pharmacy that morning also and they advised us what they thought may help his symptoms. I noticed he was starting to stand differently, almost hunched over. When we asked him about why he was hunching, he insisted that is how he’s always stood! Typical teenager, we were crazy and he was just fine!!! Saturday night Austin was having the same breathing issues as the night before. We were concerned. On Sunday we had to attend a family gathering and so we did. Austin said he felt fine but as the day worn on we could tell he still wasn’t feeling any better so we took him home. We thought that it was a just a cold; we wanted him to see a family doctor not an urgent care if possible.
By Sunday evening we could all see that it looked like Austin was really struggling to breathe. Ken had decided that he was going to have Austin sleep on the couch that night and he would sleep on his recliner, so he could keep an eye on him throughout the night. We never made it that far. Austin went to go take a shower. When he took off his shirt he yelled for us to come and look at his chest. It was starting to turn purple! We needed to take him to the hospital immediately. Kirstin told us she would e fine fine staying home alone; we weren’t sure when we’d be back. We dropped everything and rushed straight to Hillcrest Hospital’s E.R.
Within one hour of being at the hospital, the doctor at Hillcrest had done a chest x-ray. They told us they saw something in the x-ray that they weren’t qualified to read. Then they had an ambulance coming immediately to take us downtown to The Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. We had no idea what to think at this point. Everything was happening so fast. By 1:30 am, Monday, July 30th, less than 3 days after Austin started feeling sick, a doctor had told Ken and I that they saw a very large mass in Austin’s chest that was pressing against his windpipe, and they believed it to be a form of cancer.
CANCER??!! This can’t be happening. He is 15. He’s healthy. He loves to hunt, fish, camp, ride dirt bikes, four wheelers & garden tractors. He’s our little boy! We still think of him as the little boy that loves to cuddle up next to us while sucking his thumb. He’s so full of life and laughter. He has a smile that can light up a room. I can not evn begin to tell you what was going through our heads at that very moment. It was a whirlwind of emotions. It felt as if my heart jumped into my throat,an instant pain I can’t describe. It’s just not natural for a child to have Cancer! We asked the doctors that night to not tell Austin until we knew for sure.
Tuesday July 31st was absolutely the worst day of my life, all of our lives. The doctors explained to us, that it was their policy (especially with a teenager), to tell Austin what was going on. They were going to tell him he has Cancer. It was heart wrenching. I couldn’t step foot in the room. I physically could not do it. I stood outside and sobbed. Ken went in with the doctors while they explained to Austin that they were 99% sure he had a form of Lymphoma. After 20 long minutes the doctors stepped out and told me to go in the room. I knew from that moment on, no matter how I was feeling inside , Austin would only see me be strong. I wiped my tears, took a deep breath walked in the room and saw his handsome face. I told him I loved him and that I had no doubt in my mind that he was going to beat this. He nodded. How do you tell a child they have Cancer? I still can’t comprehend it.
After a few more tests and a biopsy of another bump that was on his head, they got a confirmed diagnosis. T-Cell Lymphoma. The next week was filled with telling our friends and family about Austin. There was a constant stream of doctors, nurses (who Austin was constantly flirting with), visitors, tests, treatment plans, paperwork and emotions. Through all of it Austin was so positive. Cancer was no big deal. He is going to beat it.
Our friends and family showered him with gifts and well wishes while we were at the hospital. That did not stop once we came home. Cards filled our mailbox and still do. Some come from people we have never met. The kindness of our community still amazes me. Austin came home from the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital on Monday August 6th . He had to take steroids for one month because of the size of the mass they had found. The mass that they found in his chest was the entire size of his chest. Every Monday he has to go to get blood drawn and make sure his blood counts are where they need to be. He has had to have several units of blood already, along with other blood products to keep his levels good. Every Thursday we go downtown to get his chemotherapy treatment. Chemo has gone pretty well. Recently he has gone through some rough patches. It is an awful feeling to see him sick and be so helpless. All you can do is hope it passes so he can relax a little bit before he gets sick again. With the help of the steroids, the last scan that was done in September, showed the mass to be the size of a fist. The doctors keep telling us that he’s doing amazing and everything is going as it should. All we can do is take their word for it and pray that they are right.
I cannot say things are back to normal here at home. I’ll admit his dad and I are really overprotective! I watch the way he’s breathing. The way he walks and stands, anything I can see that may be out of the ordinary. I panic when he coughs, sneezes or has rosy cheeks. We have hand sanitizer all over. I carry several of them with me at all times. We avoid public places and crowds. We ask Austin at least 100 times a day (or so it seems to him) how he’s feeling. He always replies “Good”. His doctors and nurses adore him at The Clinic. They say “He’s so easy going”. That’s our Aut, always just easy going. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t argue. He still acts as if he doesn’t have a care in the world.
A diagnosis of cancer, whether it’s yours or your child’s, is like riding a rollercoaster. Each day brings new feelings, worries and emotions. Instead of constantly thinking about what life was like before the diagnosis of cancer, we focus on the present day. The idea is to find a new normal and embrace it! We cherish every moment we have today because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
Just a reminder.....
We are no longer taking t-shirt orders, but dont worry! If you haven't had a chance to order yours yet, stop in at Flip Flop Cove Tanning !! They have shirts in stock and are able to take checks, cash or credit cards!