(Image via Desautels family)
Vinny Desautels, a 7-year-old 2nd-grader in northern California, spent two years of his life growing out his hair to donate it to a child with cancer—even though some kids teased him for looking like a girl.
“I want to help people so they don’t have to go to the doctors to fight cancer,” he tells KTLA.
Now the boy finds himself in the very shoes he wished no kid would have to fill as he faces his own battle with aggressive stage 4 cancer, reports Fox40. Recently diagnosed with metastatic cancer (meaning simply that it has spread) after his parents grew concerned about a droopy eyelid and large lump on his hip, Vinny’s docs have yet to identify the exact type.
Vinny’s grandparents set up a GoFundMe page to help the family survive what will surely be large medical bills, all while Vinny’s father is a combat veteran and his mother is six months pregnant. Some 2,000 people have so far donated more than $75,000, and the parents admitted in their own update this week that while they appreciate the “extraordinary” support, “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."
Vinny, meanwhile, is taking it all in stride, though at Boing Boing, Xeni Jardin issues a note of caution: "We don’t have to make this child a hero, or a fighter, or someone who’s ‘battling’ and ‘got this.’ Cancer patients don’t have to be superheroes. We are just people whose bodies are going through a s—– disease.” (See what this 8-year-old boy managed to do in his final months with cancer.)
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore