Pasco Family Turns Tragic Loss Into Kind Acts For Kids - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pasco Family Turns Tragic Loss Into Kind Acts For Kids

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A Pasco family is taking something tragic in their lives and using it as motivation to help others now fighting the same fight. A Pasco family is taking something tragic in their lives and using it as motivation to help others now fighting the same fight.
NBCRightNow.com - A Pasco family is taking something tragic in their lives and using it as motivation to help others now fighting the same fight.

It could be said every battle can either be won or lost. The Austin's are proving there's a third option. They've lost one fight but every smile they put on a child's face is another victory.

"This morning was hard. You wake up and you should be going into his bedroom and waking him up and wishing him a happy birthday and instead, he's not here," said Nicole Austin.

Her son should be twelve today. Matthew Austin had been fighting cancer up until last November.

"We know how happy he was when he was sick and people would do nice things for him. You saw how that affected him and so to be able to turn around and do that for other kids, I mean it's the best feeling in the world. It's great."

Bringing in toys and fun items for sick children at Kadlec Regional Medical Center has given the family a new purpose. Where they used to nurture Matthew during his fight, now they can do the same for about a dozen kids that aren't even theirs.

"He was a very giving, very charitable kid as well, so this is exactly what he would have wanted. He would like this," said his dad Steve Austin.

Practically living in medical facilities makes it hard for kids to just be kids. 5 year-old Bailey also has a tumor in her brain just like Matthew. The Austin's bring Barney dolls to her and help her make play-doh cupcakes.

"There's that fierce protective instinct that wants to make sure he is remembered and make sure that his memory lives on and that he isn't forgotten," explained Nicole.

As a family they have learned how valuable the time with your child can be. They've learned how quickly everything can change and they've learned that where there's darkness in life it's sometimes worth it to reach for the light.

"I hope that we can share what we've learned along this journey and hopefully that will be enough for other parents. I hope they don't have to learn it the hard way like we have."

When Matthew died there was about $300 in his savings account. That money kick started a memorial fund. The Pasco family will be visiting with about a dozen children in September as part of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 
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