My mom shared with me this anecdote several years ago when I was going through a rough time dealing with the death of a close friend. When an elephant is sick or ailing others in the group will come to their aid and support them. I'd like to think here in Southern Minnesota we do the same for those of us hurting and in need of assistance. There is a family right here in Faribault that could use a few elephants right now. The Howells family. 

According to a GoFundMe post made by family friend Lisa Simons in December 2017, then 9-year-old Xavier "Iggy" Howells was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in his right thigh. Despite the chemo treatments meant to shrink the tumor, it had grown and needed to be removed. In the spring of 2018, the tumor was removed, but so were two of his hamstring muscles. After surgery, Iggy received radiation treatment.

Then on On August 2, 2018, the family received some good news in regards to Iggy's cancer. The scans done had revealed that the cancerous cells had not metastasized!

But, according to the GoFundMe page, on October 22, 2018, the second set of scans done on young Iggy during his check-up revealed a mass on his lung. Two days later, it was removed, but the biopsy determined that the cancer had metastasized.

The family and doctors quickly started getting Iggy into chemotherapy, which at times will be intense and require hospital stays, many of those stays will be up to a week at a time. At this point, doctors estimate that he will need treatment for about nine more months.

Iggy's father Nate, in order to better take care of his son, resigned from teaching children with autism at Jefferson Elementary. But the pain didn't stop at the latest diagnosis for Xavier, on Thursday, Dec 13, Iggy's three-year-old brother, Casimir, died at home after an extended illness.

The GoFundMe page states that the money raised will "be used to replace Nate’s paycheck, which means the ability to buy gas, groceries for Iggy and his siblings."

There will also a soccer game fundraiser being played December 23rd in Richfield with proceeds from the game going to benefit Iggy's treatment.

Sometimes we just need to rally around something to realize what's important. At this time, a family right here in Faribault, the Howells, are that rallying point. God bless the family in this time of tragedy, Amen.

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