Campus Raises Funds for Student

Thursday, March 27, 2008

University of West Georgia faculty, staff and students are joining together to help raise funds for an Advanced Academy student who recently was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. An account has been opened at the Gilmer County Bank for donations.

Laura Lamb, student development specialist at the Academy sent a letter to the community applauding the response of friends and neighbors.

“The outpouring of love and support in many forms, and prayers, has been heart-warming,” said Lamb. “Through the students and their families, word of Justin’s story has spread all over the state. This family needs a miracle, and we are all hoping that is exactly what they receive.”

Here is Lamb’s letter to the West Georgia Community:

Justin Elliott is an 18-year-old Advanced Academy student at the University of West Georgia.  He is a high school senior from Ellijay and the son of Ellen and Ed Grant.  Justin’s life, and the lives of his family and friends, changed dramatically last week. 

Three weeks ago, he was taken to Emory University Hospital with what was thought to be a brain hemorrhage. Within a few days, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Although Justin was the youngest person the doctors have seen with this type of tumor, the outlook was positive.  Doctors hoped to remove the entire tumor, and they expected a full and complete recovery in a relatively short period of time.

Justin had surgery to attempt to remove the brain tumor this past Thursday, February 28. Sadly, the tumor is cancerous, and while doctors were able to remove 90 percent of the primary tumor, there were others hidden behind it. This is an invasive type of tumor: glioblastoma multiforme and anaplastic astrocytoma.

Justin went home on Saturday, and he will begin seeing an oncologist in a few weeks to determine the next step. No one expected this scenario, which makes it particularly hard to grasp. The prognosis is not good.

The doctors said that his best chance would be to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments, some of which are still considered experimental. If Justin is given experimental treatments, his medical insurance will not cover any of those expenses. A fund for Justin has been opened at Gilmer County Bank to help Justin and his family through this emotionally and financially difficult time.

Justin’s illness has affected many people both in his local community and in his extended community here in Carrollton and at UWG.  Many faculty, staff, and especially his fellow students, have banded together to help.

If you would like to help, please send your donation to the Gilmer County Bank, Post Office Box G, 829 Industrial Boulevard, Ellijay, GA  30540, and indicate "Justin Elliott Fund." Your donation will be deposited into the fund and a notice will be sent to the family to let them know of your contribution.

For more information, call 678-839-0634.