LEAVITTSBURG, Ohio (WKBN) – Hundreds in Leavittsburg attended a basketball game on Sunday to support a local high school student battling medullary thyroid cancer.
LaBrae freshman, Tanner Noble, is not letting his recent diagnosis take away his strength and determination. Just to show how strong he is, friends have started using the hashtag “Tannertuff” to show support.
“I’m just really happy that my community is coming out and supporting me and supporting all this,” he said. “It’s like a huge reunion for everybody coming out here.”
Surrounded by friends and family, the 16-year-old was able to sit and watch a basketball game in his honor.
“They’ve just been coming together and becoming a bigger community by helping and supporting me during this hard time.”
Noble used to be the one people watched. This fall, he played the entire football season without knowing he had cancer.
“It was shocking, but I think we’re on a different path now,” said Noble’s mother, Demetra. “We’re led somewhere else, but we were devastated. It’s our son.”
She says Noble lost 45 pounds in six weeks. After a doctor’s visit, his cancer diagnosis came as a surprise to the family.
“We knew nothing about cancer, we knew nothing about thyroid cancer. We didn’t even know there were types of thyroid cancers,” Demetra said.
Noble is currently going through chemotherapy. Since his diagnosis, Noble’s dad, Bob, says the family has racked up several medical expenses.
The community came out for the game to raise money for Noble and his family.
“Unbelievable as a parent, as a father, to understand and know that my son is loved,” Bob said. “A lot of these people, we don’t even know them.”
Noble says that while he’s still focused on his academics through all of this, he’s also learning life lessons.
“Now I have a better understanding of what people go through like this and how big a community can become if we all just come together.”
“There are still times when it’s hard, but we decided to do something different. I always say we go to the light instead of the dark side with it,” Demetra said. “It’s become something more than cancer for Tanner, it’s become a community thing and that’s something very positive that’s come out of this.”
The family has a community spaghetti dinner planned for March 5th.