7-Year-Old Who Gave Hair for Kids’ Cancer Wigs Has Stage 4 Tumor


A California boy who selflessly donated his long locks to kids with cancer has been diagnosed with the disease himself.

Vinny Desautels, 7, of Roseville, California, was diagnosed less than one week ago with stage 4 Ewing sarcoma. The news came just one month after Vinny sent his hair to help make wigs for children with cancer, his grandfather Ron Desautels of Summerville, South Carolina said.

"Vinny, we Facetimed with him a couple times and this past weekend, he was always upbeat," Desautels told ABC News. "He said, 'Hey, I'm going to do everything I can to get better.' He's just a happy little guy. It's just unreal."

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His grandfather added that he had been growing out his hair for more than a year, about 13 months, so it could be long enough to cut and donate to making wigs for cancer patients.

"He felt very happy about it, that he was helping someone else out," Desautels said. "That’s how he is. He’s not a selfish little guy, he's like the ones that broke the mold."

Vinny arrived home from school and was complaining of a pain, Ron, 60, said on May 5. A lump was soon found on the boy's hip. Vinny's eye was also shut and he was taken to the emergency room under the suspicion he had an insect bite that may have become infected, his grandfather said.

The next day, he was brought to Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento where tests were conducted. The outcome was not something the family ever expected.

"My wife called me while I was at work and she said, 'Can you come home a little earlier? I’ve got some sad news,'" Ron recalled. "I just couldn’t believe it. It took a day to sink in. We do have a pretty close family."

Vinny's father, Jason Desautels, wrote in an email to ABC News that his son's oncologist confirmed the cancer was stage 4. The disease has traveled from the hip through to the eye "indicating distant spread."

Vinny's oncologist was unavailable for a comment.

According to the National Cancer Institute, Ewing sarcoma is a type of tumor that forms in the bone or soft tissue.

Ron Desautels created a GoFundMe page titled "Victory for Vinny" to raise donations for his grandson's medical expenses.

The page has accumulated over $86,000 in 9 days.

“[We're] pretty overwhelmed," Ron said. "We started the GoFundMe thinking, they [Vinny's parent] will miss work and have extra medical bills. Between that and people hearing his story of how it all started of him wanting to help others, it just brings faith. There's a lot of good people out there who really want to help. They really care."