WADSWORTH, Ohio — Austin Lupercio was leading a normal life until about a year ago when he was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Doctors told him and his family there's only a one percent chance he'll beat this, but that hasn't changed their hopes.
"I think Austin is the most determined person I'd ever meet," his wife Amanda Lupercio said. "He straight up just looked at the doctor and said, 'we'll somebody has to be that one percent so it might as well be me.'"
Amanda is now Austin's full time caretaker.
"All my time's dedicated to him but I wouldn't change it," she said.
Amanda said Austin was still mobile until his third chemotherapy treatment.
"He gained a lot of his strength, he gained all of it back. He was doing everything but driving," Amanda said. "And then they kept increasing the chemo, every dose was higher so in his third round was the most intense round and that's when it knocked him down."
This isn't the first heartbreak this family has faced. Their twin boys died, then they had a miscarriage and now this.
Austin spends most of the day in his wheelchair unable to say much, but his family isn't giving up.
"He's been knocked down several times very hard and each time he comes back with a very strong head of steam ready to keep moving," said Brian McFadden, Amanda's dad.
Austin's community isn't giving up on him either.
"I don't see how anybody could not want to root for a guy like this," said Sgt. Joe Rose of the Wadsworth Police Department.
Sergeant Rose says each officer will pay $30 to take part in No-Shave November and plan to extend it into December as well. Women officers will get a special pin to wear if they choose to participate.
"He's a guy who fought for his country in the military, he fought for his children's lives and now he's fighting for his own life," Rose said.
The Lupercio family couldn't be more grateful and motivated by their community's gestures.
"He's our fighter—never going to stop either," Amanda said.
Wadsworth police say they never solicit donations, but if people want to give, they can contact the department by calling 330-334-1511.