Cancer-Stricken Fenton Teens Just Want to Have Fun
Groups aims to raise funds to help grant wishes for sick children.
Fenton resident Jesse Hourigan, 17 has been fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a rare form of cancer and Fenton teenager Tamara Johnson has endured several surgeries and 10 years of battling leukemia.
And although it may be a bit tougher for them at times, they just want to have fun like everyone else.
Organizers put on the second annual Katie’s Game Friday, a golf fundraiser event in memory Katie Wyatt, that raises money to grant wishes for area families dealing with cancer and are trying to help them on their journey and to grant them one wish for a little fun.
Before Katie, 14, of Fenton lost her battle with cancer last year, the Fenton teenager shared two requests. She wanted to help provide a “wish” to two or more children who were terminally ill and help a local family with a child battling cancer.
A portion of this year's funds will go to Jesse, who wants to meet Georges St-Pierre, a French Canadian mixed martial artist. He has already received a phone call from St. Pierre.
"That was crazy," he said. "It would be great to meet him."
At one point Jesse had a toxic reaction to the chemotherapy and it damaged a lot of his organs and now he must use a wheelchair, but he was all smiles at Fenton Farms Friday, making his way around the golf course.
"It's kind of overwhelming," he said of the support he has received.
The group also hosted a bone marrow drive to help people like Jesse, who has found a donor match.
With the funds raised from last year’s event, organizers were able to plan a trip for Fenton teenager Tamara Johnson to attend a dude ranch out west this fall. Johnson also made an appearance at Friday's event and is looking forward to her vacation.
"It's great to have a vacation with no doctors, no chemo, just the wilderness," said Johnson, who is remission.
Johnson added that's she happy that other children when get the same chance to have a wish granted.
"It feels good to have the support," she said. "It's great to know that Katie and the whole organization wants to help other kids like her on and on."
The funds raised for the event in her memory will help Rainbow Connections, an organization that helps grant wishes for terminally ill Michigan children; assist a local family with a child battling cancer; and help establish a scholarship fund in Katie's name.