On Friday, November 17, “Buddy” Austin Madden went in for an emergency appendectomy. During the surgery, the doctor was shocked to discover a baseball-sized mass growing in his abdomen. The mass was removed along with the appendix. Portions of Buddy’s small and large intestines had to be removed also. His doctor was nearly positive the mass was cancerous, and so we all began the wait to find out results from pathology. During his recovery, Buddy hit a few roadblocks which resulted in an additional surgery as well as a 2 week hospital stay — definitely not what was to be expected from a “simple” appendectomy. Thankfully and miraculously, pathology found that the mass was NOT cancerous. However they did discover that Buddy has Crohn’s Disease. Buddy will be out of work (he works at Chick-fil-A in Thomson, GA) for a number of additional weeks as his body recovers from the surgeries. He will also be unable to fulfill his roles as a volunteer firefighter for the foreseeable future. Buddy is a hard worker and a dependable friend. He has maintained a positive outlook through this whole process, even when the rest of us feared the worst diagnosis! If you are able to donate any of your resources to help Buddy and his family pay for his medical bills, I know it would be greatly appreciated and would help them tremendously. Thank you for taking the time to read about Buddy’s ordeal!