In 2013, we shared the story of local Hometown Hero Staff Sgt. Shawn Franks who had dedicated almost twenty years in the military in the service of our country. *See update below. His wife Luann calls him the strongest man she's ever met, but his friends call him 'Blister' as a result of his ridiculously strong work ethic. He leads by example for his three children Caleb, Seth and Grace.

Shawn has battled a few wars in his lifetime. He lost his mother to cancer when he was 15, nearly lost his best friend after their base in Iraq was shelled (his friend has since recovered) and he now prepares to fight another enemy.

In April, Shawn began encountering problems with communicating and using certain words. His struggle grew progressively worse until he'd started experiencing headaches after waking up. Last week Shawn went to his general doctor who ordered several tests. The results weren't good. A 1.5" tumor was discovered on the left side of his brain.
Yesterday, Franks met with his neurosurgeon who suggested the tumor be removed as soon as possible.
A Craniotomy was scheduled for June 22, 2015. After the tumor is removed, Shawn will learn if the growth is benign or malignant, but will still undergo 6-8 weeks of radiation following the surgery. The family says the physicians are hopeful that Shawn will be back to enjoying life within three months.

Shawn's been worried. Things are a little tight and the unexpected medical bills are going to hurt. His family could sure use a blessing.

A Gofundme donation page has been set up and within a few short hours exceed the $2000 goal. I hope we won't stop there.

Will you help Shawn, Luann, Caleb, Seth and Grace? It's only fitting we honor our heroes. You can made a financial donation or donate your time by sharing Staff Sgt. Franks' story.

He just needs to know we're coming for him.

UPDATE: Shawn's wife Luann updated her Facebook page with the following post on June 22, 2015:

'Surgery has been over for almost 3 hours. They were able to remove the whole tumor. It was however, a malignant glioma. These are aggressive tumors with some risk of returning. The radiation will help lessen those odds. Shawn will meet with an oncologist some time in the next few days. He is still in post op. We are waiting to see him. He is talking, answering questions and moving all of his extremities. It is truly a blessing from God that he has function of all of these. We were told that he would not be able to do some of these. The fact that it is malignant can be scary but I know that God is more than able. He has this in His hands. Please continue to pray for Shawn and his team of doctors as they map out the plan of treatment. I can't express how much your prayers and support have meant to us and will continue to mean to us. Thank you all so much!!'