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SCWC to light Tree of Hope after the Christmas Parade

Pictured Ethan Ausley and Jan Taylor

Local cancer survivor Ethan Ausley will flip the switch for this year’s lighting ceremony.

Each year Seminole County Warpath on Cancer (SCWC) has a project called Tree of Hope where a Christmas cross is illuminated in honor of cancer survivors and in memory of cancer patients. SCWC’s Tree of Hope, which again this year is a utility pole in the shape of a cross, will be illuminated on the lawn at the corner of Tennille Avenue and U.S. Highway 84 this evening, Thursday, December 7th, immediately following the Spirit of Christmas parade. 

The Seminole County Elementary Seminole Singers will perform and the lighting ceremony will follow. Local cancer survivor Ethan Ausley will flip the switch for this year’s ceremony.

For a $5 donation a loved one’s name will be recorded in a program that will be given out the night of the lighting ceremony.  The deadline was Friday, December 1 to have the names in the program. However, SCWC will continue receiving donations for the entire month of December. All proceeds will go to the Seminole County Warpath on Cancer. 

Purchase a luminary by contacting Stephanie Mims at 229-220-1604 or Jan Taylor at 229-202-0200. 

Cancer survivor Ethan Ausley’s whole life changed in December of 2022 when  Dr. Josh Walker first removed a place on Ethan’s leg and sent it off for testing.  When it came back cancerous, the doctors did further testing to confirm. On February 2, 2023, Ethan received the diagnosis that it was melanoma.  From there, he connected with Dr. Armand Cognetta, a Dermatologist in Tallahassee, that specializes in melanoma.  That same day, Dr. Cognetta sent Ethan over to Dr. Laurence Rosenberg, a plastic surgeon, to discuss removing the rest of melanoma above the knee as it was four mm deep. Dr. Rosenberg discovered that the lymph nodes in Ethan’s groin were swollen and sent him for an ultrasound and biopsy on February 17, 2023.  Those results showed that the melanoma had moved to the lymph nodes, meaning it was stage three melanoma.  Dr. Rosenberg immediately referred Ethan to Dr. Jonathan Zager at Moffitt Cancer Center.  

On June 14, 2023 he received two rounds of immunotherapy.  He was scheduled to receive four rounds, but the medicines caused his liver enzymes to elevate too high and the tumor board met and decided to proceed with surgery.  

Ethan was declared cancer free on August 22, 2023.  Moffitt will continue to observe Ethan every three months and repeat scans to insure that the cancer has not come back. 

Ethan and his family thank Seminole County Warpath on Cancer and their friends and family in the community for helping them get through a difficult time. 

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