St. Francois Co. deputy fighting cancer, 3 years after losing so - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

St. Francois Co. deputy fighting cancer, 3 years after losing son to same disease

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

Imagine losing a loved one to cancer, then a few years later finding out you have to battle the disease yourself. That's what a former St. Francois County, Missouri deputy is facing.

Teenage years can be seen to some parents as the most nurturing years in raising a child, but that experience was taken away from Tim Harris a few years ago.

"He was just your normal everyday little boy, running, playing, hunting, fishing, anything he can get his hands on he was doing it!" Tim Harris said.

That's how Harris said his son Tyler was until, while on vacation, he got extremely sick and saw bruising.

Harris said when the family returned home they took him to the family doctor.

"They sent us immediately to Children's and we got the news the next morning that he has leukemia," Harris said.

Harris said the news stopped his world.

"Oh no," Harris said. "No parent expects to find out that their kid is sick, no parent wants to hear that at all! It was devastating, it was a devastating blow to both mother and I. We just weren't expecting it, but then he put a smile on his face, he got tough so I got tough."

Tyler beat cancer the first time, but it returned and he died from complications in March 2013.

While still healing from his son's death, Harris started to feel pains at the beginning of 2016, went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Sarcoma Cancer.

"From where it's at I haven't been able to work," he said. "I haven't been able to get out and enjoy cutting my grass or fishing with my kids or anything like that. They won't let me do much."

Harris said going through chemo has been tough and plans to visit a Sarcoma specialist to get a second opinion.

Through his own journey, Harris said he's found out just how strong his son was.

"It puts in perspective what that little kid went through," Harris said. "He was so much more tough, he never complained not one time and for me, my wife will hear it all the way back."

However, Harris said he quickly reminds himself of how strong his son Tyler was in the face of hardship and he know things will get better.

"He was always talking to other kids and trying to get them to understand what their cancer was going to be like and that they can be brave," He said. "He's my role model."

A benefit is being held from 7-10 p.m. at the Twin Oak Winery on Friday, August 12.

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