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Fundraiser to be held for resident battling cancer

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Jake Magee
Monday, July 17, 2017

What: Fundraiser for Alex Hembrook, a 20-year-old Janesville resident battling cancer. The fundraiser will include 50/50 raffles and a silent auction.

When: 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5.

Where: Barkley's Burgers, Brews & Dawgs, 2710 W. Court St., Janesville.

Details: In January, UW–La Crosse student Alex Hembrook discovered he had a football-sized, nonseminomatous germ cell tumor growing in his chest.

The disease has similar symptoms and effects to testicular cancer, said Scott Hembrook, Alex's father.

Alex endured four rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. In early June, the mass was surgically removed at UW-Madison.

Unfortunately, the cancer had spread.

The operation wasn't too different from open-heart surgery. Surgeons made a 12-inch incision in Alex's chest and broke his sternum to remove the tumor. They then wired his sternum back together and sewed his chest closed, Scott said.

Alex has been bedridden at his parents' house. He has limited movement and currently can't drive, Scott said.

Alex's fight has put his life on hold. He can't work this summer at his regular Culver's job, which he's had since he was 14.

Knowing his struggle, family friend Sue Gray of Gray's Brewing Company organized the fundraiser. The money will be used for Alex's tuition and housing at UW-La Crosse.

Alex is thankful for the generosity.

“It makes me feel like I'm not alone in this process or journey,” he said. “It feels good.”

Despite his health problems, Alex remains optimistic. He has signed up for online summer classes and hopes to return to school in fall, he said.

Alex is majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. He tutors classmates and has worked for Janesville's recreation department at least one summer, Scott said.

Scott's hopes are high, both for the fundraiser and his son's future.

“A clean bill of health would be perfect,” he said.

For more information: To donate items or learn more about the event, contact Sue Gray at sueg.0925@gmail.com or Kylee Meehan at kyleemeehan@gmail.com.



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