PICKENS COUNTY – When Grayson Owens, a third-grade student at Forest Acres Elementary, was diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago, his parents’ fears of the worst were confirmed.
Thursday night, the Easley community stepped in to recognize Grayson for his ability to battle back.
“He’s so strong,” Stephanie Owens, Grayson’s mother, said. “He’s been through a very tough year. He’s been through numerous surgeries, MRIs, CT scans, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He amazes me.”
Thursday night, his elementary school hosted a fund raiser in his honor.
“This is so special,” Owens said. “This is our community. This is where I grew up and the fact that they love Grayson makes me so happy. It’s just amazing that so many people will come together for a cause like this even though they might not know him.”
The event included good food, games and an appearance from legendary Clemson coach Danny Ford, who presented Grayson with a replica trophy of Howard’s Rock.
“It’s just not quite fair for a person like Grayson to have such limited abilities right now,” Ford said. “Hopefully he will get through it with a lot of hard work from the doctors and a lot of prayers answered. The community is really reaching out to him and this is a strong young man.”
The idea for the event came from some of his former teachers.
“A few teachers and I just wanted to do something for him and his family,” Gracie Wilson, a first grade teacher at Forest Acres, said. “Once we started putting stuff up about it, it blew up.”
Wilson said Grayson has recently eaten dinner with members of the Clemson football team, gone to Disney World on a Make-A-Wish trip and even watched a live WWE wrestling event.
“He’s awesome,” Wilson said. “He’s always happy and always has a big smile on his face. It doesn’t matter if he’s been through therapy or a treatment, he is always happy and in good spirits.”
Wilson commended the third-graders parents for their great faith.
“His parents have great faith,” Wilson said. “Nobody wants their child to get sick, but they have been so strong and so positive.”