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Community steps in to help family of West Bend boy battling cancer

NOW: Community steps in to help family of West Bend boy battling cancer

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CEDARBURG, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A West Bend boy battling cancer, is getting some much-needed support from a community right up the road.

Four-year-old Jace Burke is not defined by his diagnosis.

He's spent half of his life in and out of Children's Hospital battling leukemia, and his mother Heather says the journey hasn't been easy.

"It was devastating. He was a very healthy kid. He was rarely sick as a baby. He never even had an ear infection. He was never on antibiotics or anything. So it was shocking to find out he had cancer," says Heather Burke.

Now relying on the help of an oxygen tank after chemotherapy took a toll on his body, followed by an unsuccessful bone transplant, 
Jace's parents have turned to alternative treatments. However, it comes with a price.

"It's a very strict diet. Nutrition. Countless supplements. A couple of different therapies from some integrated clinics. But by making that decision, we no longer have the help of insurance," Heather says. 

Jace's parents are from Cedarburg, and after word got around about his story, 
The Cedarburg High School Student-Athlete Leadership Council decided to host a Skate-A-Thon at Cedar Creek Park to help pay for his expensive medical bills.

"It's crazy how he's four and he's seen more challenges than I have and I'm 18. He's definitely able to handle them better than I would've been able to handle them," says senior Rachel Priddy.

In spite of the challenges, Heather says, Jace remains resilient.

"Even when he doesn't feel good, he still wants to play. He's very strong," she says. 

The event is Saturday, January 27 from five to nine in the evening at Cedar Creek Park.

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