Brandon boy grateful for support during cancer journey

A Brandon family is overwhelmed with gratitude as they receive care and support from neighbors and friends.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:39 PM CST
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BRANDON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Many will say that one of the best things about living in South Dakota is how a community rallies around those going through a trying time. A Brandon family is overwhelmed with gratitude as they receive care and support from neighbors and friends.

It’s not a journey Spencer Thorsland would wish on anyone, but the Brandon seventh-grader is in his third year of battling cancer.

“A lot of stomach pain. It was just unbearable. So we went to the doctors and had me do chemo and then they went back in December of 2020. And they were able to take out most of it,” Spencer explained.

Some very special people stopped by to encourage him, including actors from the Mandalorian.

“Emily Swallow is the armor from the Mandalorian, and her character has kind of taught me no matter what. Just always get back up,” Spencer said.

The family hoped the bad news would be behind them, but a trip to the Mayo Clinic revealed more tumors.

“When I got the news that my cancer came back again, for the third time, I was kind of like, ‘okay, I don’t think they’re gonna be able to do anything. And I think I should just rest,’” Spencer expressed.

Friends back in Brandon heard the news and jumped into action to encourage Spencer. He thought of an old wive’s tale on the trip home.

“So I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, my nose is itching. Why is it itching so much?’ and mom was like, ‘People are thinking about you people might be thinking about you.’” Spencer explained.

“It was right during the time that they were at our church making posters and signs,” Spencer’s mom, Lori Huml said. “It was like kind of the timing of when he was saying all of that. So I was just like, ‘Oh, if you only knew all the things going on right now for you.’”

Spencer had no idea just how many people wanted to show that they cared.

“It’s like a whole line of people across the sidewalk. And it was crazy,” Spencer expressed.

“Community and Family and friends have just stayed by his side and sent messages through the whole thing of encouragement,” Lori explained. “I mean, prayer has been very important.”

Friends and family often stop by to encourage Spencer. Most of the time, visitors usually leave with new inspiration and hope.

“Just keep going. Never give up in your face. Always believe in God. Pray every night. Sometimes, people told me they get a piece of God out of me. And I like that,” Spencer said.

Spencer continues to add to his bucket list, including a visit to Disneyworld in Florida and skydiving.

You can donate to Spencer’s GoFundMe here.