Wildcats Rallying Around Student With Brain Tumor

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A school and community in the Shoals is rallying behind an eighth grader in the fight for his life.

In February, Austin Franklin underwent surgery on a brain tumor at Vanderbilt Hospital, and even though the prognosis is good, family members say Austin has a long road ahead.

Wednesday morning students packed the Central School gymnasium to watch coaches, teachers and fellow students raise money for Austin Franklin and his family.

High school senior Haley Archer helped spear-head the school fund-raiser said, “Especially being in eighth grade, I know it has to be scary, so any support that he can get is going to be a really be encouragement to him.”

While Austin continues to recover from surgery and begins chemotherapy and radiation treatments in Nashville, he’s still in the hearts and minds of his school mates.

Austin’s grandmother Carol Reynolds documented the head shaving event to share with her grandson.

“We’re amazed by all of the support and prayers and everything that’s going out. We didn’t expect this. The Wildcats are amazing,” said Reynolds.

More than thirty teachers and students lined up to lose their locks to show their support.

It’s a den of Wildcats, praying with Austin.

“Austin would be really proud, when he gets well, he’ll know how much he’s loved,” explained Carol Reynolds.

Family members say it could take as much as a year of treatment before Austin Franklin could return to school.

So far, Central School has raised nearly five thousand dollars to help family members with Austin’s care.