UPDATE | Fire department names young boy fighting cancer as honorary fire fighter

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POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 8/11/19 @ 6:03 p.m.
A young boy in Point Pleasant who is fighting a rare cancer was honored as an honorary firefighter Sunday.

WSAZ has followed Lewis Bryant's story for a couple of years.

Lewis was diagnosed in March of 2018 with stage 4 osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer.

Lewis has been in the hospital in Columbus for the last three weeks. He was brought home Wednesday afternoon by ambulance for hospice care.

A motorcade followed behind the ambulance as he was driven through town.

“Today we had the opportunity to meet with a True Hero in our community as we made Lewis Bryant an Honorary Member of the Point Pleasant Fire Department. His Courage, Faith, and Strength is amazing and has touched us,” the department said.

Many in the community say Lewis’ bravery and positive attitude during a difficult time has been inspiring to them all.

On Wednesday, Lewis told WSAZ he wanted to say "thank you" to everyone who came out to welcome him home and to everyone who has followed along with his journey.



UPDATE 8/7/19 @ 7:10 p.m.
A 10-year-old battling cancer was welcomed home in a way that is only fit for a superhero.

Community members lined the streets of Point Pleasant Wednesday to welcome Lewis Bryant home.

Lewis was diagnosed in March of 2018 with stage 4 osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer.

Lewis has been in the hospital in Columbus for the last three weeks. He was brought home Wednesday afternoon by ambulance for hospice care.

A motorcade followed behind the ambulance as he was driven through town.

Members of the community stood with signs in hand. Balloons lined the streets, donning the colors of black and yellow. They are Batman's colors, which is one of Lewis' favorite superheroes.

WSAZ has been following along with Lewis' journey since he was first diagnosed in 2018. In December of 2018, Lewis asked for Christmas cards from people all across the region.

Amy Graham taught Lewis when he was younger. She was one of the many people standing in town Wednesday as he was brought home.

"All I could see was that smile," Graham said. "We saw the smile, and it didn't go away. He's never lost his smile."

It was an emotional time for the community members who came out for the homecoming, but also Lewis' family.

His mother says he has never faltered the entire time -- showing strength and courage in the face of his diagnosis.

So many have commented on Lewis' "mega-watt smile" and how it has never left his face.

"He doesn't want you to feel sorry for him," Graham said. "He wants you to be happy. He's always had the biggest heart of a kid I've ever seen."

WSAZ was able to visit with Lewis and his family after he got home. He was a typical 10-year-old kid, focused on his video games.

His mother says he was excited to get home to play his games and see his friends.

Lewis told WSAZ he wanted to say "thank you" to everyone who came out Wednesday to welcome him home and to everyone who has followed along with his journey.

His positive attitude has been an inspiration to so many.

"He's got a hero attitude," Graham said. "He doesn't let anything get him down that's for sure."

While WSAZ was at Lewis' home, he was playing a Spiderman video game. When asked if he had a Batman video game, Lewis said, "no, I don't."

But his mother says the paramedic who drove him home is a family friend and has offered to bring him a Batman video game to play.

Throughout Lewis' journey, the community has thrown their support behind him. When he was first diagnosed in 2018, the community helped raise money for a new home for the family to live in closer to town. The community also raised money to buy the family a reliable car to get to and from medical appointments.

Community members say they will continue to stand behind Lewis in the times ahead and hope he understands how much he is loved.



UPDATE 8/7/19 @ 1:12 p.m.
A young boy battling cancer is returning home to Mason County, West Virginia for hospice care.

Community members lined the streets of Point Pleasant Wednesday afternoon to welcome home 10-year-old Lewis Bryant from the hospital. They held up signs and cheered as the ambulance passed through town.

Lewis was diagnosed with stage 4 osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer, on March 3, 2018. His positive attitude, even at such a young age, continues to inspire those around him.

After being discharged from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus Wednesday morning, a Point Pleasant paramedic drove Lewis home. A motorcade followed behind them to escort Lewis on his journey.

UPDATE 12/11/18 @ 1:13 p.m.
The community backing a young boy as he fights an aggressive form of cancer is asking people from around the area to send him Christmas cards.

Lewis Bryant has pushed through an incredibly tough year with a smile on his face. The 9-year-old from Point Pleasant was diagnosed with stage 4 osteosarcoma, bone cancer, on March 3. In April, he had surgery to amputate his left arm to remove a tumor.

A loved one tells us Lewis is still positive as ever, but what would lift his spirits even more: Christmas cards.

Lewis told Jamie Hunt, "I hope I can get about three cards or maybe even five." Hunt hopes she can exceed his expectations and surprise him with as many cards as possible.

Here is the address you can send cards to:

Lewis Bryant
2107 North Main Street
Point Pleasant, WV 25550

When we first met Lewis, he was eight years old and starting chemotherapy. Within days of finding out Lewis' diagnosis, the community had a new home for the family to live in closer to town. Volunteers built a ramp and told the teachers there was no rush to pay them back for the wood. Community members donated everything inside from the furniture to the decorations to the food. The family was surprised with everything they may need. The community also raised money to buy the family a reliable car to get to and from medical appointments.

All of us at WSAZ support Lewis in this fight: #TeamLewie

ORIGINAL STORY 3/15/18
An 8-year-old boy fighting an aggressive form of cancer is getting an outpouring of love and support from his community.

Lewis Bryant was diagnosed with stage 4 osteosarcoma, bone cancer, on March 3.

His mom, Tabitha Halley, says her son started complaining about wrist pain in January. After weeks of doctor appointments, tests and waiting, it was confirmed that Lewis had a tumor.

"He's in stage 4 and it's very bad," said Halley through tears. "He's got it multiple places."

They started chemotherapy and Halley quit her job to take care of Lewis.

Lewis often feels nauseous from his treatments and doesn't have much of an appetite.

She says the hardest part is, "Just to have to watch him sit there in all that pain and getting sick."

Although he is in pain, Lewis has a positive attitude.

"Be happy," said Lewis. "Always be happy. Keep laughing."

They are looking at possibly having surgery on the tumor after the first 10 weeks of chemo.

"We love this family," said Kim Hunt. "The mom is a hard worker."

Hunt and Blythe Powell are teachers at Point Pleasant Primary School and put their own lives on hold to help the family.

"I love all my students, but some just touch your heart and he [Lewis] did," Powell said.

The teachers say the family didn't have much, and the mobile home they were living in posed a lot of challenges for a sick child.

Within days of finding out Lewis' diagnosis, the community had a new home with the family closer to town. Volunteers built a ramp and told the teachers there was no rush to pay them back for the wood.

Community members donated everything inside from the furniture to the decorations to the food. The family was surprised with everything they may need.

"We had several churches, just various teachers and families getting together," Hunt said.

Without an income from now and with growing medical bills, Halley is overwhelmed by all of the support.

"The community's been absolutely amazing," Halley said.

They did hit another road block on Tuesday. Halley and Lewis were coming back from Columbus when they ran into trouble.

"We were on our way home from the hospital, and it broke down," Halley said.

It was their only reliable vehicle to get Lewis to his chemo treatments.

Within two days, the community has raised more than $4,000 for a new vehicle.

Hunt and Powell say an anonymous donor stopped by the school and gave $400. Neither the teachers nor the family know him.

A stranger from Hawaii saw the request for donations on Facebook and gave $100.

The teachers have been working with a car dealership -- whose owners want to remain anonymous -- to find a safe and reliable car for a really good deal.

They say the donations just keep coming. They may be in a small town, but the teachers say they have a lot of love.

"We're coming down the hallway [of the school] in tears going, 'Oh my gosh, this is God working,'" Hunt said. "We are so blessed."

Until that new vehicle is purchased, friends are offering their cars for rides to the hospital in Columbus.

"It's the greatest feeling," Halley said. "[It's] the best feeling after feeling like you've lost everything and you're numb. It's all so much and I want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart for taking care of my babies."

Donors say the last thing the family should have to worry about right now is having a safe vehicle or a place to live.

"Thank you for helping me and my family and thank you for this house and everything in it," Lewis said.

Halley says she is doing her best to be strong right now and they're taking things day by day.

"My kids are my everything," Halley said. "They're my best friends."

If you want to donate to the family, that money can be sent through PayPal to kimberly_handley@hotmail.com.

You can also send donations to Point Pleasant Primary School located at 2200 Lincoln Ave. Point Pleasant, WV, 25550. Hunt recommends writing that the money is for the Lewis Transportation Fund (for the new car) so school officials know exactly what the donation is for.

Any extra money after they buy the car, the teachers say will go toward the family's other expenses like car insurance, medical bills and payments at their new home.



 
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