Fundraisers to help boy fighting cancer

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Two fundraisers are being held to assist a local family with the monetary expenses of a child fighting cancer.

Denise Bales said her 7-year-old grandson, Collin Bales, was recently diagnosed with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is currently undergoing treatments.

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Billy Bales, Collins’ father, said the family first noticed a lump in his armpit in February of this year. Several trips to doctors and clinics initially diagnosed him with swollen lymph nodes. But when a round of antibiotics did not help, and the family noticed the lump was still growing, a pediatrician in Hattiesburg was consulted where blood work taken during the visit caused the doctor to become alarmed and contact a hospital where additional tests were performed in March, Billy Bales said.

The blood work and a biopsy at the hospital would later find the cause of the lump, and also lead to the discovery of more cancer in Collin’s knee, tailbone, jaw and abdomen.

Billy Bales said son has started mini cycles of treatment, undergone six spinal tap chemotherapy treatments and two full cycles of chemotherapy. In all, his son is being treated with seven types of chemo.

Billy Bales estimates his son has an 80 percent chance at a cure. However, since the treatments have left him vulnerable to other common ailments, his son has had to miss school.

In response, the community is holding fundraisers to help the family pay for medical expenses, travel to the hospital and other expenses associated with the travel to receive treatments.

Kyle Jeansonne is in the process of organizing a crawfish boil fundraiser, which will be held Saturday, April 28 starting at noon at the Walkiah Bluff Water Park. Jeansonne said local businesses have donated 1,000 pounds of crawfish, hot dogs and hamburgers. Plates will be sold to raise funds to help the family. Jeansonne said crawfish plates will be sold for $20 and include between four to five pounds of the mudbugs. The event will start at noon and last until all of the food has been sold.

Tonya Dawsey is also organizing a fundraiser involving the sale of women’s racerback shirts and T-shirts through an online store at

The shirts are $18 and will be on sale for about two weeks.

In about a day, 20 shirts have been sold Dawsey said. Her goal is to sell 100 or more.

“We just want do our part to help the family,” Dawsey said.