GLOVERSVILLE – According to his aunt Bobbi VanNostrand, 12-year-old Gloversville Middle School student Sebastian Lasher awoke a week before Christmas to find his face swollen. The pre-teen’s father, Jessie Rose, rushed him to a hospital and after a battery of tests, doctors found out Lasher had acute lymphoblastic leukemia lymphoma type T.
Rose and Lasher’s mother, Holly Lasher, were told their son would need to be taken straight to Albany Medical Center to begin treatment.
VanNostrand said Sebastian Lasher spent about 24 days in the hospital, including time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit ward. He now goes to Albany weekly for treatment.
“His spirits are good. He’s holding his own and has a positive attitude. We’re all behind him,” VanNostrand said.
According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood. It can progress rapidly without treatment and has no clear cause.
“[Sebastian] has a very long road ahead of him – his treatment plan is a minimum of three years,” VanNostrand wrote on Sebastian’s GoFundMe bio.
The family is collecting tabs from tin cans, tennis ball cans and aluminum soda and beer cans to donate to the Ronald McDonald House in Albany. The family is planning to surprise Lasher with how much they collect, as they want to collect enough to have Lasher make the largest donation ever at the Albany location.
The Ronald McDonald House has regular drives to collect the tabs to recycle as a fundraising effort. On March 19, family and friends of Sebastian Lasher will gather tabs at the Johnstown Moose starting at 1 p.m.
VanNostrand said she already has coffee cans and 5-gallon containers full of tabs.
The Ronald McDonald House gave the family a place to gather, vent and sleep during Sebastian Lasher’s time at Albany Medical Center, she said.
“The Ronald McDonald House was top notch to our family,” VanNostrand said.
VanNostrand said Lasher – who was not available for comment – is a generous kid, who loves to help other people, so they thought this would be the perfect way for him to give back.
“He lives in an apartment complex with several elderly people. He plays cards with them in the evenings,” she said. “He just a really soft spoken little guy.”
She said Lasher was surprised by the number of cards and well wishes he has received from students in the Gloversville Enlarged School District. Students at the middle school signed their names to massive cards for him. Greater Johnstown School District students at the Warren Street Elementary School have sent him handmade cards wishing him well.
The family is also collecting donations to help with Sebastian Lasher’s medical care through the website, GoFundMe. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/zzhjj59d.