The family of a young Austin girl born with a rare disorder now has 23,000 reasons not to worry about medical bills that insurance won't cover.
Last December Austin Cops for Charities started a medical fund for Ainsley Pircher. Pircher, 5, was born with Pfeiffer Syndrome which affects the way her face and head grow. She's no stranger to the operating room. So far, she's undergone eight major operations with more in the future.
Ainsley is full of life. She loves to play with her older brothers, swim in the pool and play softball and she certainly doesn't miss a beat.
"Just a lot of unknowns for the last six years and we really didn't know what her future would hold," said Angela Pircher, Ainsley's mom. Angela describes the last few years as a rollercoaster.
Thursday Ainsley got a warm welcome and a standing ovation inside the Austin Police Association from her second family. Ainsley's dad, Mark Pircher, is an Austin Police officer. Pircher has served Austin for the last eight years.
"It's a great support system. They are there to pick you up when you're down and there with you every day," said Pircher.
"The amount of support we have gotten is amazing. I don't know if there are words to describe how grateful we are," said Angela Pircher.
Donations from strangers and fellow officers totaled $23,000.
"It's humbling. We feel very blessed," said Mark Pircher.
"When you have 2,500 employees, sworn and civilians, there's almost someone with a need," said Lt. Gena Curtis who services as the chair for Austin Cops for Charities.
"For so many officers to come together with their money and give it back to the APD family is just great. It shows how we stick together," said Assistant Chief Jason Dusterhoft.
"I've always said we as a department are only as strong as our community we serve and we're surrounded by great people who do great things," said Curtis.
It's a gift the Pirchers know will go a long way as their little princess will face more surgeries down the road.
"Thank you," said Ainsley.
"You definitely can't tell her she can't do anything because she'll prove you wrong," said Angela Pircher.
Curtis expects there will be another fundraiser in the future.
Austin Cops for Charities operates on donations and is a non-profit. The largest fundraiser for the organization takes place on August 22, 2015. It's the Jaime Padron Golf Tournament. For more information visit here.