WAUKESHA — Eight-year-old Benny Thielitz was diagnosed with Leukemia on his 6th birthday.
We first met parents Shawn and Elizabeth, and son Benny, shortly after Benny's diagnosis, when alumni of Carroll University, where Shawn works, raised money for the family.
Since then, life for the Thielitz family has taken on many new adventures.
"His first Christmas was spent at Children's, Thanksgiving at Children's, and I believe New Year's, too. It was the first time not together as a family and that was the toughest on us," dad Shawn said.
Words like "cancer" and "Leukemia" are now heard daily.
"It wasn't such a big part of my life until it hit our family," said mom, Elizabeth. "Now I can't stop hearing it."
Benny has a strong support system though. Shawn says Benny's older brother lets him crawl into bed with him when he gets scared.
"Sam's been very good about self-sacrifice for the betterment of his brother."
Benny is playful but sincere in his thank you.
"I like you!"
Even Summitview Elementary, where Benny goes to school and his mom teaches, helps. They threw a coffee sale that raised $700 for the MACC Fund.
There are good times and bad, and when asked where the family's inner strength comes from, Elizabeth's answer comes as a bit of a surprise.
"Without this family, without the friends, without our community, the MACC Fund being so close, if it had to be someone it might as well be our son because we have the support. We have the people that can back us up and help take care of him."
If all goes well, Benny is expected to finish his cancer treatment in May of 2020.
To help the MACC Fund and children like Benny, bid on the TODAY'S TMJ4 Sports Auction 4 MACC. The auction ends Friday at 7:00 p.m. Click here to bid.