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Prize pig bid aids in fight against cancer

Lynn, Julie and Lincoln Becker with Fred Krahmer Sr.

The 4-H livestock auction at the Martin County Fair began on a high note Friday morning when Lincoln Becker’s barrow quickly brought a final bid of $5,000 from Fairmont businessman Fred Krahmer Sr.

The amount was considerably higher than the $800 or $900 Lincoln usually gets for his 4-H swine entry.

After the bidding ended, Lynn Becker, Lincoln’s father, explained what had happened.

“Some of you may have heard recently about the 4-H’er in Ohio that raised a large sum of money for his swine ribbon and donated it all to a charity,” Lynn told the crowd filling the livestock arena. “That is what Lincoln has decided to do this year, and will be donating the proceeds from the ribbon to the LincolnStrong fund that was started on his behalf five years ago at the start of his cancer journey. As we have in the past, the funds from LincolnStrong will continue to financially support organizations and families in need in the fight against cancer.”

The winning bidders in the 4-H auction do not actually buy the livestock. They purchase the ribbon the animal won, and the money is divided, with 20 percent going to the Martin County 4-H program and the 4-H member receiving 80 percent to pay this year’s expenses or buy an animal for next year.

Lincoln presented Fred with the pink ribbon bearing the words “Reserve Champion” after the auction.

“Do you want to keep the ribbon?” Fred asked, but was quickly assured that the 4-H program provides extra ribbons for its members to keep.

Fred said wanted to help after hearing about Lincoln’s diagnosis of Stage 4 T lymphoblastic lymphoma five years ago and how he and his family have raised money through T-shirt sales, a 5K run and other events, using those funds through LincolnStrong to help other families.

Krahmer and the Beckers made a connection through Ian Bents at Profinium.

“It just happened, I guess” Fred said. “I had heard Lincoln’s story and thought, let’s just make it worthwhile then. Maybe this is the start of something for the future.”

Lincoln, 14, says he’s “not really” sure where the money will be donated.

“In the past, he has donated to Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and Make a Wish Foundation,” said his mother, Julie. “He really likes Children’s and how they took care of him when he was there.”

Lincoln is a young man of few words.

“He does not want any attention,” Julie said.

He has no health restrictions other than an injection every other week of an antibody to build his immune system.

“He plays every sport, football, hockey, baseball. He’s a mover and a shaker,” Julie said.

“Cancer is no fun, but Lincoln’s come through with flying colors,” Lynn said. “That’s why we’re going to continue helping other families.”

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