Tim McGraw Helps Local Man During Cancer Battle

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ROGERS (KFSM) -- One and a half years after learning he had one of the rarest forms of cancer there is, Bennjamin Banks has found a new passion in life to help others.

On any given day, you can find Banks coaching his sons, going to work, or cooking with his wife.

But something you may not notice, until he speaks, is his battle with Non-squamous Cell Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma.

Banks was diagnosed after extensive testing.

“It would be an understatement to say my life changed overnight,” Banks said. “I’m normally very healthy, aside from the fact that i have a type of cancer where I have a better chance of winning the lottery twice, than getting this type of cancer.”

A non-smoker, Banks never thought he would have cancer in his throat. There is not a known cause, or cure, for Non-squamous Cell Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma.

“My type is a complete fluke that they do not know the cause,” Banks said. “You have to make a decision [after being diagnosed.] Are you dying, or are you living? And I chose to live.”

Shortly before having emergency surgery to remove as much of the cancer as they could, Banks took his wife to see award winning country music star Tim McGraw.

“We knew it was going to be the last time I would ever be able to sing along at a concert,” Banks said. “For one night, I stopped thinking about what I was going through. And, I got lost in the time, lost in the music.”

After the concert, Banks went through surgery, and received treatment in Houston.

Keeping his smile on his face, he even wore a pink bunny costume to the hospital the day of his surgery.

Since then, outside of spending time with family, Banks takes to Facebook, where he runs the blog “Don’t Walk Away From A Good Fight.”

The blog takes people through the battles of fighting cancer.

“I allow people who aren’t like us [cancer survivors] to understand how we feel, and what we are dealing with,” Banks said.

Recently, Banks found himself listening to Tim McGraw perform at the American Country Music Awards.

“My mind was back at the concert [in Rogers],” Banks said.

Banks decided to write a note to McGraw on Facebook. In the note, he thanked McGraw for his music. He also explained the battle he endured following the fight.

Banks said he never expected McGraw to respond.

However, McGraw shared Banks’ post to his millions of Facebook fans. McGraw also shared the link to Banks’ GoFundMe page, which helps cover hospital bills.

McGraw also sent Banks a care package. In the package, Banks received a personalized letter from McGraw, an inspirational book, and scarves to help cover his laryngectomy.

“More people need to be like Tim McGraw. To get a message out there about doing right, and doing good things for good people,” Banks said.

As Banks continues to battle his cancer. he hopes to remind his readers of one thing.

“Do what you can," Banks said. "Don’t give up; don’t stop fighting.”

A fundraiser will also take place for the Banks family on May 6, 2016.

“Bowling For Ben” will raise money to put towards Banks’ hospital bills. The event will also help raise money for Banks’ two sons' college funds.