Wilmington teen with brain tumor gets support from tennis community

Owen's parents say he's always been they're healthy, happy little boy. (Source: Jennifer Preston)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Seven-year-old Owen Preston has a smile that can light up any room.

Owen Preston, 7, has a smile that can light up any room. His parents say he’s always been they’re healthy, happy little boy. Tides turned when Owen was diagnosed with high grade glioblastoma multiforme at the start of 2016.

His parents say he’s always been they’re healthy, happy little boy. Tides turned when Owen was diagnosed with high grade glioblastoma multiforme at the start of 2016.

Glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM is an aggressive, malignant primary brain tumor that infiltrates surrounding tissue in the brain.

While a diagnosis like this is the last thing any parent wants to hear, Owen’s mom and dad have done their best to stay positive and keep their son’s spirits lifted.

“Owen didn’t feel too well at the beginning of his diagnosis, but he’s actually doing much better now that he’s come to terms with things,” commented Owen’s Mother, Jennifer Preston.

Owen is undergoing treatment in Durham. With the constant traveling back and forth from Wilmington to the hospital, Owen’s Mother made the decision to leave her job to care for her son full-time.

From the start of his diagnosis, the Preston’s friends and family knew they wanted to do something to help Owen.

Owen’s Father, Brian Preston is a UNCW graduate and played tennis during his time in college. Since then, he’s been an active part of the community as the current Director of Tennis at St. James Plantation in Southport.

“These are good people and we know they need our help, so we wanted to do something big,” Pine Valley Tennis Instructor Tom Parks said.

Parks, along with many others in the tennis community, have come up with a fundraising event for the family called “Play for Owen.”

They hope to raise at least $30,000 for the Prestons through different events at area country clubs, pro exhibitions, a tournament with the UNCW tennis team and a silent auction complete with live music, food and drinks.

All of the information can be found on the Wilmington Tennis website.

“Play for Owen” will take place throughout the day on Saturday, February 27.

“This means everything,” Owen’s Mother added. “The tennis pals have come together and made this happen so fast all to support one of their own.”

Owen will undergo radiation and chemotherapy for six weeks, but his family says this is only the beginning of a very challenging journey.

Owen and his parents say they’re extremely thankful for the unending support of their tight-knit tennis family across all of southeastern North Carolina.

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