Boy battling bone cancer at Mayo Clinic celebrates milestone - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Boy battling bone cancer at Mayo Clinic celebrates milestone

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

A 7-year-old boy battling bone cancer reached a major milestone at Mayo Clinic Thursday morning.

In front of dozens of family members and friends, Hunter Gifford rang the bell at the Jacobson Building to signal the end of his proton beam treatment.

Hunter was diagnosed with bone cancer on Nov. 1, 2016.

He said ringing the bell meant a lot "because I'm all done with radiation and it's pretty hard to go through."

"It was a milestone that we waited for for a long time," said Hunter's mom, Lisa. "[On April 2], he turns 8 years old. And there was a time when I sat at his hospital bed and I wondered if he would see either of these."

KTTC first met Hunter in December, right after he learned he could leave the hospital and return home for Christmas. Now that he's done with proton beam therapy, he gets to be home a lot more.

"I couldn't believe all the people [at Thursday's event]. You have a lot of support, a lot of people praying for you," Lisa told her son.

Hunter still needs to continue with chemotherapy and is scheduled to undergo his ninth cycle on Tuesday. He will undergo 16 cycles in all.

"We know you got this buddy," Lisa said to Hunter. "You are strong."

Lisa said the chemotherapy for Hunter should end by August or September. Hopefully, he will then be able to return to school.

A fundraiser for Hunter will take place on Saturday, May 13 (the day before Mother's Day) at Zumbro Lutheran Church at 624 3rd Ave. SW in Rochester. The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The fundraiser will feature a silent auction, bake sale, concessions (from Mr. Pizza South), a kid's corner and more. During the silent auction, visitors can bid on a two-hour sailing afternoon with Windward High Sailing, tickets to Escape Challenge, Honkers, and Minnesota Twins games, and other items. Various businesses will also showcase their products.

For more information on the event, CLICK HERE.

To keep up with Hunter's progress, visit his "Hunter Strong" Facebook page or his CaringBridge page.

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