SEBRING- Just around Thanksgiving, Chris Faircloth received news no 24-year-old ever expects to hear. He had prostate cancer. The Avon Park resident didn't have health insurance, and when he finally got it and went to see doctors, he heard the gut-wrenching news of why he had been feeling sick for the last year. Now, Faircloth is getting chemotherapy at the University of Florida Health, where he is undergoing oral chemotherapy, and will find out in March if he needs chemotherapy through a port, he said.
Faircloth has stayed positive -- not just for himself; his fiancee, Heidi Garcia; and his 2-year-old son -- but also for his newborn, who came into the world a week after his diagnosis. He had to miss about a week of work but said his employers have been very accommodating even though he started on the job just when he was diagnosed. While his support system is helping him cope, his sickness and absences from work have been tough on the family because of his out-of-town treatments, he said. Garcia, who had to go back to work soon after having the baby, has to take care of the baby and a sick adult, he said. To help them, Sunny Hills Assisted Living Facility is hosting a barbecue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan 29 at its location, 3600 Commerce Center Drive, Sebring. A silent auction and bake sale also will he held, and all the proceeds will go to Faircloth to help cover some of his medical expenses. Donations for the silent auction and bake sale are also being sought. Family friend Cindy Dutton said they are hoping to raise $5,000. "We are contacting the American Cancer Society to see what they can do," she said. She had Faircloth's ilness has been "especially hard" on the family because of the two little children. Tickets are now on sale at Sunny Hills ALF or at Encore Respiratory, 3672 U.S. 27 N., Sebring. Tickets are $8 a plate and patrons can choose between pulled pork or a chicken dinner. For information, to donate or buy tickets, call Dutton at (863) 381-9113