BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A local church is rallying behind Bennett Fuller, an Alabaster teen who’s battling cancer.
First Presbyterian Church, where he and his family attend, hosted an American Red Cross blood drive in his honor Sunday.
Their church family told CBS 42 the blood drive held was their way of showing support in a tangible way for him and others in similar situations.
Fuller, who is a senior at Thompson High School, has been battling cancer since last summer.
Nicole Newton, First Presbyterian Church’s transitional associate pastor, said Fuller’s treatment requires a lot of blood products. They felt hosting a blood drive in his honor would be a great way to show support.
“It’s not just in major emergency situations but it’s a lifesaving way to help so many in our community,” Newton said. “People you wouldn’t even think about.”
People like Fuller.
“Senior year of high school and you find out you’ve got cancer and off he goes with grace and faces that challenge and it’s pretty amazing,” said Fuller’s father, Richard Fuller. “So it’s just another one of those things you experience in life, and we’re trying to keep him going.”
Fuller’s family and friends said he is smart and talented. He’s a theater lover and band member who has big dreams he continues working toward.
“He’s in his school play this spring and going and doing and just really just a tough, good, sweet kid,” Newton said.
“You would not expect it, but he’s actually really one of the funniest people I’ve ever met,” Rush Ahnert said, Fuller’s longtime friend. “He’s super kind and he’s so nice and he’s just, he’s a great friend. He’s really caring about other people.”
Richard Fuller said they are grateful for the gift of life these people are giving through their blood donations.
“We’re thrilled that people have come out to support Bennett and other patients,” Richard Fuller said. “It’s a really wonderful thing. It’s humbling, very humbling. We’re thrilled.”
Richard Fuller said blood is a constant need for a lot of people and kids like his son, so it’s important to donate continually throughout the year.
To learn more about how you can make a blood donation, you can download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/ or call 1-800-733-2767.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated Bennett Fuller was from Anniston, not Alabaster.