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Unified for Childhood Cancer Awareness
Sylvania and Screven County went Gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Sept. 25 as several employees at more than 30 businesses wore black T-shirts with gold lettering to commemorate the month while generating funds for the cause.
Amber Crosby Mock, an employee with the Bank of Newington, organized the event after working for more than four years at Lil Scholars Learning Center. That is where Mock said she had the honor of meeting a little boy who would change her life forever.
Mock calls Dusty Doyle her hero.
“He is such a strong and happy child,” Mock said. “Just looking at Dusty you would think he was no different than any other 3-year-old boy, but he was fighting cancer. He fought and won the battle three times! Dusty’s biggest wish was to be able to go to school and play sports like other children.”
“I became very close with Dusty and his family and I got to see what all they were going through. It broke my heart and it still does,” Mock said. “Since meeting Dusty, I have prayed every night for him and his family and I have asked God to show me a way that I could help. Many people aren’t aware that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and I wanted to find a way to bring more awareness by painting our town gold.”
Mock said the local fundraising and awareness effort began with gold ribbons and a few T-shirts, but quickly became a county-wide event that grew beyond her wildest expectations.
This week’s edition of the Sylvania Telephone contains photographs of many of the people who wore the black T-shirts on Sept. 25. On the front, written in gold it reads, “Be their HERO.” On the back of the shirt, it reads, “Support the Fighters; Admire the Survivors; Honor the Taken, and never give up HOPE.”
The T-shirts were sold for $10 a piece.
“It warmed my heart to see our little town come together in such a big way to support Dusty and raise money for the CURE Foundation,” Mock said. According to its mission statement, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research and through support of patients and their families.
Doyle had Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), which causes bony tumors that can eat away and damage his skeletal system. Dusty’s parents are Kim and Gary Sr. and his older brother is Gary Doyle Jr., who goes by “Fatback.” Dusty goes by “Tater.”
The family has received support for “Team Dusty.”
“I just want to thank everyone who participated and made this event a success, including Rockstar Graphics for printing all the shirts in such a timely manner and the Bank of Newington for the huge part they played in making this happen,” Mock said. “I am hoping to make Sylvania Supports Childhood Cancer Awareness an annual event.”