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Benefit draws big crowd for Albion boy, 15, who had brain tumor removed

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2018 at 5:07 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The community has turned out for a benefit today for Lucas O’Connor, 15, who recently had a brain tumor removed and will need brain scans every three months to make sure the tumor hasn’t returned.

Lucas is pictured with his parents, Jodi and Kevin, at the Elks Club this afternoon, where there is a benefit from 2 to 6 p.m. There are nearly 100 items up for raffle. The beef on wick dinner is a sellout.

“It’s amazing, the generosity of everybody,” said Lucas’s father, Kevin. “So much of the media is negative but this is really about people caring about people.”

Lucas was wrestling last October when he sustained a mild concussion. A CT scan and MRI showed that some of the bone near Lucas’s left ear had changed. He was diagnosed with a very rare brain tumor (chondromyxiod fibroma).

That concussion proved to be a blessing, Mr. O’Connor said. Lucas didn’t have any symptoms that the tumor was growing in his skull.

“It’s amazing how God works,” Mr. O’Connor said.

Lucas endured two procedures before he had full craniotomy on July 26 by a team of specialists in New York City. The tumor was benign. Doctors want to check him every three months because the tumor often comes back and is fast-growing.

“He is a fighter,” O’Connor said about his son. “You can’t keep him down.”

Members of the football and wrestling teams are serving the beef on weck dinners. Bryce Pritchard, center, and Jessy Cruz check the potatoes.

Lucas is ready to take the tickets for the dinners. He is joined by his friends Sam Williams, left, and Presley Smith. Presley’s parents, Julie and Ken Smith, were key organizers for the benefit. Sam’s mother, Karen Williams, also was instrumental in the effort.

Tom Smith (left), his brother Gary Smith and Gary’s wife Ronda perform during the benefit.

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