A donation jar used to collect money for a 2-year-old cancer patient was taken from the pay counter at Rock Hill’s Little Cafe last week.
The money would have gone to Austin Blackwell, who is fighting liver cancer.
Bracelets that said #TeamAustin were being sold at cafe and money went in the jar.
“It was shocking,” said Little Cafe server Angie Salomone. “It made people here very upset, that someone would take money from a child with cancer.”
The theft was reported to Rock Hill police Thursday, when workers at the restaurant on Cherry Road noticed the jar was missing.
“We just couldn’t believe someone would take a donation jar that is helping a child stay alive,” said Nikki Stack who works at Little Cafe. “It is just so awful.”
The thief also took the #TeamAustin bracelets.
“Taking money from a kid with cancer, that’s about as low as you can get,” said Monte Kirk, owner of Little Cafe.
The jar had on it a flyer explaining that Austin has liver cancer and that all donations go to help his family with expenses.
Police are investigating but have not made an arrest, said Capt. Mark Bollinger. Officers are seeking surveillance video and pictures from the restaurant.
Austin is the son of Michael and Marisol Blackwell. He undergoes chemotherapy and other treatment, and is waiting for a liver transplant, Michael Blackwell said.
“When he gets on the transplant list, we might be gone at the Duke hospital in North Carolina for months,” the father said.
The Blackwells dropped off the single donation jar at Little Cafe Feb. 13. About $75 was estimated to be in the jar when it was stolen.
“Somebody decided that he needed the money more than my son fighting cancer,” Blackwell said.
Marisol and Michael Blackwell have tried not to dwell on the theft, because Austin needs their attention. Monday, while Austin, was at chemotherapy, the family dropped off a new jar at Little Cafe.
It has already started to fill up.
“When it happened, it hurt,” Blackwell said. “But I can’t worry about it. It’s in God’s hands, now. Just like Austin is in God’s hands.”