Community rallies around man with rare cancer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Community rallies around man with rare cancer

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AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

A South Georgia Community is rallying behind an Americus man battling a rare form of cancer.

28 year-old Randy Preston is fighting Acoustic Neuroma while friends, family, and businesses raise money for his treatment.

Approximately 3,000 cases of acoustic neuroma are diagnosed every year in the U.S. Most of those are for children under age three, leaving lots of questions for adults fighting the disease.

The family's world was turned upside down last New Year's Eve.

"The only thing I can do is live each day a day at a time, because I don't know when my last day is gonna be, literally," said Randy Preston.  He was rushed to the hospital when he suddenly lost his ability to walk and talk.

"From Randy, the day before having fun and enjoying each other to the next day...brain tumor," said Gabrielle Hartage, Preston's Sister.

The growth caused Preston to lose the vision in his left eye, along with his hearing on his left side and suffer short term memory loss.  Doctors removed the tumor, but couldn't get the pieces growing near his cerebellum.

 "I just live and let God deal with it," Preston said. "I'm only a man. There's only so much I can do.  God can do anything." 

 Post operative complications led to meningitis, adding another fight as doctors work to develop cancer treatment plans. 

 "These past two months have been very, very rocky," said Hartage.  She left school to take care of her big brother who couldn't afford insurance.  He was drilling clay samples and pursuing his degree with the hopes of one day becoming a pharmacist.  Now he has no way to pay for treatment, and worries for his young child.

"Words can't explain it because I love my son.  He's a blessing from God," said Preston. "Sometimes I think about, you know... he's only two.  And we have plenty more years to grow with each other and for me to teach him and for him to learn from me."

Now local businesses are using Facebook to raise money.  "I mean we lost my father to leukemia and a lot of people came to help us, so there's no way we couldn't do something to give back," said Twany Edwards, Eazy Ride Auto Sales.

Others like the Rear Rider Motorcycle Club raffled off a TV to help, and raised over $500. "I see that the family was in desperate need, so I jumped in immediately when I heard about the situation," said Reggie Jones, Rear Rider Motorcycle Club.

It's been an overwhelming empathy, and the family said faith keeps them optimistic.

Tax of America and Easy Ride Auto sales are donating $1 for every like given to a Facebook post in Randy's honor up to 2,000 likes.

You can also find the post and "like" it by scrolling down Twany Edwards' or Stephanie Laster's page.

The community is also planning to hold "Randy Day" on April 4th to raise money and awareness.

Join the conversation and learn more on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #TeamRANDY or by emailing biviens33@hotmail.com.