CAP Member Austin Alonsoís Courageous Battle With Brain Cancer
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
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Photo Caption:
Civil Air Patrol Cadet Austin Alonso, of the Gen. Chuck Yeager Cadet Squadron, tackles the obstacle course at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center during summer encampment, about six months before his brain tumor diagnosis.

By Capt. Parris M. Sepe, Hillsborough One Senior Squadron
Tampa, FL--

In January 2016, Austin Alonso was a student at the University of South Florida and in Air Force ROTC program. While in class he felt ill and drove himself to the hospital. He also texted his mother in Fort Myers telling her that he thinks he is having a stroke. Scared at this news, she immediately started driving to Tampa. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was much worse, Austin had a tumor on his brain stem.

Two years later, Austin has completed multiple surgeries in Tampa and at Duke University in North Carolina. Surgeons were able to remove part of the tumor and treatments at the proton laboratory at the University of Florida provided additional shrinkage to the tumor. The doctors are optimistic, believing the tumor is dying.

Austinís parents were able to remain with him during the surgeries at the Duke University Hospital. His CAP Family, including a CAP Chaplain and many members visited often. Captain Pat Sepe assisted Austinís mother, Jennifer, in setting up a GoFundMe account to help offset medical and travel expenses. Word of Austinís situation spread throughout the Civil Air Patrol community. Cards wishing him well came from all over the country.

Recovery has been a long, slow process, included five months at home in Fort Myers. His fiancť, Bailey, and his mother have been there all along the way.

Austin Alonso is currently a Senior Member-First Lieutenant with the General Chuck Yeager Cadet Squadron in Brandon, FL. He has returned to The University of South Florida as a senior, studying psychology. He currently participates in two internships helping young people, especially those with Autism, ADHD and other social disorders. He remains active with undergraduate research following those who have graduated from drug rehabilitation and evaluating their progress. Austin will graduate from USF in December 2018 and plans to pursue a Masterís degree in psychology at the University of North Carolina.

The man described in this story epitomizes strength and courage in dealing with a potentially lethal disease. Austin, we salute you and wish you well!

Article Information
Reviewed by: 1st Lt. James Chamberland Sr.
Syndicated to: Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 6, Group 7, Group 800, Florida Feature
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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Forceís Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAPís 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAPís Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.
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