Social media strengthens a local man in his fight against cancer

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

POTTSBORO, TEXAS -- Like hundreds across the nation, a Grayson County man is battling lung cancer.

What's unique about this man is in just hours, more than a thousand people came together online to support him.

Tonight, that digital support took shape for a fundraiser in Pottsboro.

In just 24 hours, Billy got 1,000 new friends on Facebook.

"I've been totally shocked how Facebook would blow up like that and you see the results," Billy Hargesheimer said.

Billy has lung cancer.

When he learned he had the illness, he also learned that without insurance, it would be difficult for him to find a doctor and get treatment.

So his daughter took the problem into her own hands.

"My dad is my strength, you know, I'm a daddy's girl," Kira Oden said.

She got on Facebook, made a post and the support came pouring in.

"And I said, you know, I need help raising money for my dad. We can't get to the doctor without $40,000 dollars. And it was like a fire. It was like the driest place we've ever had and the moment someone threw something out, we sparked, and it became so quick and so furious," Oden said.

In just three days time, more than 1,500 joined his cancer donation page.

"You can't feel how much, as my husband says, the warm and fuzzy inside that you get. It's just, it's overwhelming," Debbie Hargesheimer said.

Tonight, that support was seen firsthand at the American Legion in Pottsboro.

Supporters came together for a silent auction and date auction, raising more than $5,000 dollars for Billy.

That money will go toward his treatment. After visiting many doctors, Billy says he's finally found a doctor that will treat him.

"When he said he would be proud to be on team Heal Billy, I lost it. And I knew I was at the right place," Hargesheimer said.

Billy says that seeing his friends supporting him tonight brings him so much joy and encouragement.

"This is my support group, you know what I mean," Hargesheimer said.

If you would like to donate to Billy, go to any Landmark Bank and give to "Billy's Benefits".

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  • by Tara Dorman Location: Durant on Jul 29, 2012 at 10:57 PM
    I want to say that out of the goodness of my heart I jumped
    In to help this family in need and was thrown under the bus
    And rejected! I spent money, time, and design fee out of my
    Own pocket to make koozies to help raise money and was told that I wasn't able to sell them unless I gave 100% of the money to them! What kind of benefit dosent let you cover your expenses? Best wishes to this family, I lost my dad with lung cancer and the struggle has just begun!
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