BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) — A fundraiser was set up a Bluffton-Harrison Middle School this afternoon to raise money for Wells County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Austin Springer, who learned just two months ago that he has the most common type of Hodkin disease.
Springer was diagnosed with Stage 2 Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on May 21. Firefighter paramedic Mike Harris, who works for the New Haven Fire Department as well as Bluffton Fire and Wells County EMS and Adams County EMS, organized a fundraiser at Bluffton-Harrison Middle School, Saturday, July 11 at 11 a.m. Along with a car show and raffle, the event involved a be guided cruise around Wells County. Money raised will go toward medical expenses for the Springer family.
“He’s not able to work right now so we’re just trying to help his family out in this time of need,” said Harris.
Harris said there was no specific goal they were trying to reach for the Springer family, but that every cent counts because of how costly treatment can be. Springer felt well at the fundraiser but said the last round of chemotherapy was a difficult one, and the whole situation has been tough on his family.
“Oh, it was heartbreaking. You can’t explain it. With two young children, your mind goes crazy so it’s just not something I wish on anyone.”
His diagnosis comes after another Wells County Deputy was diagnosed with cancer last year. Deputy Jimmy Robbins was diagnosis with thymoma cancer and has returned to work cancer-free. Springer saw the way the community rallied around Robbins through his treatment but said he was still moved by how people have stepped forward to help.
“The support has been unreal, I’m just overwhelmed,” said Springer. “My family’s overwhelmed. I was surprised, but I’ve also seen it so I know that we have a great community and that they show up for their own.”
That support is not just the citizens he serves as a Sheriff’s deputy. Several first responders from around the area came out to show their support. Harris said it was important for them to be there because many have worked alongside Springer and they recognize the toll a cancer diagnosis can take on a family.
“All of us first responders, we take care of each other on scenes and obviously even off duty,” said Harris. “I think it’s just important for our community as a whole. We’ve done benefits for non-first responders. It’s just, we know the effect that this disease has and we’re just happy to help out.”
Sgt. Springer began his law enforcement career with the Hartford City Police Department and later became a Wells County Sheriff.
Shirts are also being sold to raise money for the family. For information on how to purchase a shirt to support officer Springer, click here.
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