Young Fleetwood

Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel (left) and kicker Dustin Hopkins (right) visited young cancer patient Austin Fleetwood (center) on Sunday.

Austin Fleetwood, a 17-year old from Crawfordville, Fla., died Monday at 4:42 a.m., at his home after a four-month battle with cancer.

In April, Fleetwood began having trouble breathing, along with frequent headaches. He soon found a knot on the left side of his neck. Fleetwood was diagnosed with carcinoma of an unknown primary, making him the 41st case in history.

“I am doing the best I can. I was there by his side up until the very end. Wednesday would have been his eighteenth birthday,” said Tony Fleetwood, Austin’s father. “He was extremely brave and strong. He was very sick and in lots of pain, but he kept fighting until his very last breath. I know he is in a better place, but no parent should have to lose a child. I just keep wanting to pick up the phone and call him.”

Fleetwood started chemotherapy to treat one of the most aggressive cancers known.

“We were really hopeful. The tumors were shrinking, but about a month ago his body started rejecting the chemo. He spent eleven days straight in the hospital,and the pains in his leg worsened, along with major damage to his kidneys,” said Fleetwood. “About two weeks ago, we took Austin to a hospital in Jacksonville. The doctors told us that the tumors in his chest were growing at an accelerated rate and he had a very limited time to live. He died two weeks later.”

Fleetwood had a passion for hockey. He had been playing since he was three years old. He was a student at Thomas County Central for his sophomore and junior years. He was also an avid FSU fan.

See Thursday's edition for more details.

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