Old friends reunite at birthday parade thrown for man with cancer

Local News

The Austintown resident was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma in 2015

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – People in Austintown came out to show some support to one resident not only for his birthday but for the strength he has shown throughout his battle with cancer.

John Thompson would much rather be spending his 78th birthday fishing, but instead he has to stay home, not only because of COVID-19 but also because of his cancer.

“There’s no cure for what I have,” Thompson said.

The Austintown resident was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma in 2015, and while he eventually found himself in remission, it came back last year.

“The people at the Hope Center in Boardman told me it’s all in your mind. You’ve got to beat it with your mind first. I think that’s what we’ve been doing,” Thompson said.

This mentality has helped him through his cancer battle.

It has also been helping him wait out the stay at home order, but his family wasn’t going to let his birthday pass by without a celebration.

So, they enlisted the help of Austintown Police and Fire departments and arranged a special surprise.

That surprise was a reunion between Thompson and an old friend who came down from Cleveland just to say happy birthday.

“He’s just a great human being. As you saw with all the people that showed up today to also wish him a happy birthday,” said his friend, Joe Guinan.

And Thompson’s reaction to the love and support says it al.

“They were hollering, I miss ya, John. I miss ya,” Thompson said. “This is a wonderful community. It’s a great place to live, Austintown.”

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