Boy, 11, raises $26K with market hog for dad’s medical bills

LISBON — One of the reasons that the county fair board decided to have a Junior Fair after canceling the full county fair was because of the children. The 4-H kids worked hard for months to raise their market animals, and the Junior Fair gave them an opportunity to sell them at an auction.

For some participants, the auction gives them a chance to earn money for college. For others, pride in completing and selling their projects is enough. But, for 11-year old Tyler Beadnell, his third year of auctioning a project was extra special.

When it was Tyler’s turn to show his hog to the crowd, he had one thing in mind: his dad. Tyler’s dad, Toby, has stage four melanoma and is getting treatment in Cleveland. The cancer is in his skull, bone marrow, spine, spleen and neck, and Toby, who is an Air Force veteran, was on life support for 10 days and lost the ability to walk and talk.

Between the medical bills, hotels and gas money, Tyler was set on helping his family out, a decision that no ordinary 11-year-old would make. He decided to give all of his proceeds to his parents to help with the medical bills.

“My dad helps me with everything,” Tyler said. “I just wanted to show that I appreciate him.”

After his hog sold, Tyler was overcome with emotion, as he knew the money would go towards helping his family. He was even more surprised when the auctioneer said, “Sell it again.” In fact, the hog was sold five more times, as it went for a total of $26,000.

“We were very proud when he offered to help,” Tina said. “You don’t expect your kid to do something that big. It’s just wonderful. You don’t expect something like that from your 11-year-old son.”

As the auction continued, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd, as emotions took over a community that had come together for a common goal. Tina said with the division in the world right now along with the COVID-19 pandemic looming over everyone, it was amazing to see people come together like that.

“With the community coming together like they did with the current circumstances, it was such a heartfelt moment,” Tina said.

When Tina told Toby about the news, he broke out in tears. Donations continue to be made, as a GoFundMe was created for the Air Force veteran. So, while the full county fair wasn’t able to happen this year, Toby’s story highlights the importance of the fair for the 4-H children. It was Tyler’s outlet to help his family.

While most 11-year-olds’ big decisions revolve around what video game to play, Tyler is doing his best to be the man of the house in his father’s absence. And while Toby may not be able to express to his son how he feels, Tyler knows his parents and the community are proud.



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