The Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office shares this inspiring story at Thanksgiving about an officer in the Walla Walla Police Department, and their child's brave battle with cancer.

Officer Small, his wife Wendi, and their four children have had some big challenges, especially for daughter Austin Elizabeth.

When she was six months old, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. She underwent a procedure that included removing the top of her skull to have the tumor removed, and unwind it from around her optic nerve. Since the operation, some of her vision has returned. Now nearly a year later, after countless bouts with chemo, and viruses due to her immune system being compromised, she is powering onward. Officer Small said this in part:

" She is constantly smiling and laughing, and is now indifferent to the needle pokes and prods associated with her treatment. Austin has shown us what true strength is, as her mother and I can only pretend not to be weak. I have felt powerless and vulnerable this past year, unable to help my daughter or play any significant role in affecting her recovery. Our encouragement has come from our baby girl, who has found it in herself to be strong enough for all of us. Austin is my hero, and I hope to develop the level of perseverance, patience, and resolve that she has taught me in our short time together."

He emphasizes that while many cancers are not preventable, including his daughters, he said many of them are; and continued research will help find cures for them. That's why he participates in No Shave November, and the WWPD and WWCSO have a special page where people can donate to help.

To see their cancer donation effort page, click on the button below.

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