Community shows support for high school athlete battling cancer

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Without a doubt, Will Maki is a fighter. It was his fighting spirit that helped lead his football team to a state championship last year. Now, as he faces a very different fight, everyone in the Owen-Withee area and beyond is working together to send a message of encouragement.

Maki underwent a leg amputation surgery Tuesday as a result of Osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer. He was diagnosed with the cancer back in July after getting an MRI for ongoing pain in his leg.

The Owen-Withee community is now coming together to show support for his ongoing battle. Tuesday, as he prepared for surgery, almost all students and staff members at Owen Withee High School wore white as part of a campaign to "Wear White for Will."

In addition, parents of Will's friends and teammates are setting up fundraisers to help the family handle medical expenses.

"Everybody is really tight knit. That team, especially a state championship team, they are more like brothers. So, my son treated Will like his is one of his brothers, so when we found out about the cancer, I wanted to treat him like one of my kids." says fundraiser organizer Kris Karaba.

Karaba was in contact with members of Will's family Tuesday, who tell her Will was doing well following the procedure.

A "Will Power" fundraiser is set for October 17th at Munson Bridge Winery to raise money for Will's ongoing medical expenses.

In addition, a donation fund has been set up for Will through Forward Financial in Withee. Anyone interested in donating is told to reference the "Will Power Fund" when making a contribution.