Marietta community supports athlete with cancer

WTAP News @ Noon
Published: Dec. 17, 2022 at 9:56 PM EST
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Ashton Harris moved to Marietta with his family in the spring after playing sports for Athens High School.

Harris was able to play on Marietta High School’s baseball team in the spring and was getting ready for basketball when something wasn’t right.

Marietta’s Basketball Coach Austin Gardner talked about this point in Ashton’s life.

“After tryouts, a couple practices in, he got sent to get looked at by the doctor here in Marietta, then he got life flighted to Akron Children’s Hospital. I got to know him a little bit, we actually got to go up and see him several weeks ago now. It was great to see him, and he still has his sense of humor and personality, which is great,” said Coach Gardner.

Ashton was diagnosed with myeloid sarcoma which is a form of leukemia.

The athletic department has been doing a lot to raise money for the Harris family.

Coach Gardner said, “We’ve done donation buckets, and now we are also doing a t-shirt fundraiser; which the deadline is January 4th. We will wear them for the games, our coaches are going to wear them as well. I believe Athens is partaking as well, which is who we play, the school that he transferred from on January 17th. If Ashton is unable to be here, he watches the games on livestream. He will be able to see the shirts, and hopefully bring joy and excitement because we can’t wait to get him back here at Marietta.”

Friend and teammate Izak Knighten talked about how all the fundraisers will help his friend’s family.

“I really hope that this helps his family out with the money situation and financials. Some of these things can be very expensive, and we hope this helps his family as much as it can,” said Knighten

Even though Ashton and his family are going through a lot, they are great people according to Coach Gardner.

“For those that maybe aren’t familiar here in Marietta with Ashton, since he is a transfer student; which is I think a unique situation. (He’s an) Awesome kid, awesome family, down to Earth, heartwarming people. Ashton is a true competitor, and I know he wants to be on the basketball court, and unfortunately he can’t, but we can’t wait for him to get back here soon enough,” said Coach Gardner.

Even though Ashton can’t be on the court with his friends, he cheers them on every game when he watches the livestreams.

Order forms for the t-shirts can be found on Ashton’s Cancer Journey - Facebook or by visiting Marietta High School’s main office.

The deadline to order shirts is January 4th, and the game against Athens is January 17th.