The Short of It
A 7-year-old California boy who once grew his hair out for kids with cancer is now facing his own scary diagnosis.
Vinny Desautels grew out his hair for two years and donated 13 inches of it to kids who lost their locks during cancer treatments. The impressive boy told WGN, "I want to help people so they don't have to go to the doctors to fight cancer. ... I was happy."
Then, in a twist of fate almost too bizarre to be true, Vinny was recently diagnosed with stage 4 Ewing's sarcoma, which causes tumors to form in bone or soft tissue.
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His parents, Jason and Amanda, first noticed something was wrong when his right eye became puffy, according to CNN. Vinny called it "squinty." Understandably, they initially attributed the symptom to seasonal allergies. But soon Vinny was complaining of a sore knee and his hip became swollen. That's when the his parents took him in for tests that led to his terrifying diagnosis.
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"We know it's cancer, stage 4, because it spread in two different locations and it's aggressive. Now we're trying to figure out what we're dealing with so we can come up with a plan," Jason told CNN.
Vinny will undergo a bone marrow biopsy and start chemotherapy this week.
An online fundraising campaign called "Victory for Vinny" has already raised over $123,000. On the GoFundMe page, the second-grader's parents reveal their admirable modesty, writing:
"The support towards Vinny has been beyond extraordinary, and we appreciate all of it. However this is all new to us as a family and we don't want to lie to you we are a little uncomfortable. We're just a blue collar family who enjoys bbq's with friends, and fart jokes. Please bear with us. I will do my best to keep all of you updated. We are very positive and optimistic. Thank you all for your time and support. Jason & Amanda Vinny's parents. [sic]"
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Still, despite their upbeat attitude, Vinny's situation is fraught with challenges. Amanda is six-months pregnant, so she is unable to attend her son's radiation treatments, which is an unimaginable hardship. The family also has a 12-year-old son who needs love and support through this ordeal.