Every year, hairdresser Amanda Azevedo donates her time to a local lymphoma foundation to help those who are suffering from cancer look remarkable for an annual benefit gala. One year, her young son Vinny Desautels asked what she was doing and she explained that how cancer can ravage the body, and sometimes the person will lose their hair. The young boy with the biggest heart said he wanted to help and began growing his hair out to donate it.
Despite constant teasing by other kids and being called a girl, Vinny grew his hair out for two years to help those stricken with the deadly disease.
“He was mistaken for a girl many times,” his father, Jason Desautels, told The Washington Post. “He always took it like a champion.”
In March, the second grader from Roseville, California had a puffy right eye, which his parents believed to be seasonal allergies. But it didn’t go away even with prescription eye drops and allergy medication. Rounds of medical tests including blood tests, MRIs and a CT scan revealed tumors on his hip and in the bone around his eye. Doctors diagnosed the boy with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of tumor that forms in bone or soft tissue. Now the 7-year-old boy who loves soccer, tee-ball and Pokemon is facing stage 4 cancer.
“We know it’s cancer, stage 4, because it spread in two different locations and it’s aggressive,” Jason said. “Now we’re trying to figure out what we’re dealing with so we can come up with a plan.”
Vinny is scheduled to begin treatment this week, starting with a bone marrow biopsy and chemotherapy. Right now Vinny is bringing E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” to his treatments to take his mind off of the scary uncertainty.
This will be a trying time for the entire family. Vinny’s mom is a self-employed hairstylist who is six months pregnant, so she can’t attend his radiation treatments during her pregnancy. Vinny’s dad works for a small farm hardware business.
If you would like to help out the Desautels family, a GoFundMe titled “VICTORY for VINNY” has been set up by his grandparents. You can donate here to help the family pay for medical costs and missed work.