Two years ago before the devastating news, Vinny Desautels asked his mother Amanda Azevedo what cancer meant when she was helping cancer patients through a foundation. Azevedo, a hairstylist by profession, told him about the disease and how patients lose their hair during treatment.
“Can I grow my hair out?” he asked her and for the next two years he sported long brown locks so he could eventually donate his hair, says a Washington Post report.
“I want to help people so they don’t have to go to the doctors to fight cancer,” Vinny explained.
Out playing with other kids, he was often teased and even called a girl because of his long hair but he always took it in the right spirit and replied “Nah. I am a boy,” his father Jason Desautels says.
Although his classmates made fun of him for being a boy with long hair, Vinny kept the cancer patients in mind as he endured their hateful comments. Eventually, his blonde hair grew long enough to donate. When it was thirteen inches long, he had it cut to be given to a cancer patient who had lost their hair during treatment.
However, in a “cruel twist of fate,” 7-year-old Vinny Desautels, who grew his hair out for two years to donate to cancer patients, has now been diagnosed with an aggressive stage 4 cancer.
Just after donating 13 inches of hair to Wigs for Kids, Vinny started complaining about a stinging in his eye. It was allergy season, so his parents weren’t overly concerned. Unfortunately, as the weeks passed, Vinny’s eye got worse and other symptoms began to appear.
The resilient 7-year-old came home from school with a sore knee, and later his parents noticed that his right hip was swollen. They immediately took him to the ER, where an X-ray confirmed the parents’ worst fear: Vinny had a tumor in his pelvic bone.
Subsequent testing revealed that the swelling in Vinny’s eye was also being caused by a tumor. After more MRIs and blood tests, the doctors diagnosed Vinny with stage 4 cancer, most likely Ewing’s sarcoma, which forms in the bone and soft tissue.
Now, Vinny starts chemotherapy and his family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with mounting expenses. They’ve already raised more than $457,000—proof that Vinny’s own selflessness has truly inspired others.
As for Vinny, he’s staying positive:
“As long as we’re there with a smile, telling him he’s going to be all right, he has the same attitude,” Desautels said. “Vinny is like us—an eternal optimist.”
Watch the video below for more details: