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Heroes helping heroes: Wadsworth Police Department rallies around local veteran fighting cancer

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WADSWORTH, Ohio - The Wadsworth Police Department is rallying around a local veteran who is battling cancer.

“He fought for his country, he fought for his wife and their children, and now he's fighting for his life,” said Sergeant Joe Rose of the Wadsworth Police Department when talking about Austin Lupercio, the beneficiary of their “No Shave November” fundraiser this year.

In November of 2018, Lupercio was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive brain cancer. He has since been undergoing intensive chemotherapy and radiation.

"He's one of the strongest people I know, most determined people I know," said Lupercio's wife, Amanda.

His diagnosis is just the latest in a series of setbacks that have caused the Lupercios great heartache. The couple lost twins in 2016 and an unborn child in 2018. Now, they're facing this latest challenge.

Lupercio was given a 1% chance of survival, but says he plans to be that 1%.

"Once we heard the story about Austin and about his wife, Amanda, we were instantly like, 'This is the family we want to support for No Shave November.' It was an easy choice,” said Sgt. Rose.

Wadsworth Police Officer Corey McFadden is Lupercio's brother-in-law and shared his story with the force.

The fundraiser will go beyond November and through December in an effort to double their ability to raise funds for the Lupercio family.

Male employees with facial hair will not shave and female employees will wear a cancer awareness emblem on their uniform like in years past. Each employee must pay $30 per month to participate, with every dollar going toward the family.

“It’s hard to ask for help and seeing people reach out and want to help, it's a great feeling," Amanda said, adding that all the support means the world to them and gives them hope.

If you would like to donate, you can make checks out to the Wadsworth FOP Lodge #45, with the memo line of "No Shave November."

Donations can be mailed or delivered to:

Wadsworth City Hall
Attn: Police or Joe Rose
120 Maple Street
Wadsworth, OH 44281

Sgt. Joe Rose has been the officer who has spearheaded the "No Shave November" fundraising campaign for the past three years and says they have already raised more than a $1,000 in private donations this year.

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