More than a year after her death, A Fenton teenager is still helping make wishes come true.
Organizers will put on the Friday, a golf fundraiser event in memory Katie Wyatt, that raises money to grant wishes for area families dealing with cancer.
Before , 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.
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.
One of the benefactors of this year’s event is Fenton resident Jesse Hourigan, 17, who has been fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a rare form of cancer. Jesse’s wish is to meet Georges St-Pierre, a French Canadian mixed martial artist. He has already received a phone call from St. Pierre. (See attached video for his reaction starting at the 5:25 mark).
Jesse moved to Michigan last summer.
He started playing summer baseball in Fenton and joined the wrestling team last winter. However, during wrestling conditioning and practices, he parents noticed a change in his skin color and an absence of stamina.
Out of nowhere he was soon diagnosed with ALL, Positive Philadelphia Chromosome, one of the rarest forms of leukemia, in December 2011.
He has gone through chemotherapy, and even an experimental therapy in London, but is still fighting to rid the cancer from his body so he can receive a bone marrow transplant. At one point, he had a toxic reaction to the chemo and it damaged a lot of his organs, restricting him to a wheelchair.
Last week, he suffered from septic infection and a fever of 103 and spent several days in the pediatric intensive care unit.
“He’s a typical 17-year-old kid. He has got a great sense of humor,” said Mary Ann Beltinck, organizer of the event.
With the funds raised from last year’s event, organizers were able to plan a trip for to attend a dude ranch out west this fall. The non-profit Katie Wyatt Memorial Foundation is also planning on helping two more area families with the funds raised this year, in addition to Jesse, Beltinck said.
Registration for the golf event begins at 9 a.m. Friday at Fenton Farms, followed by breakfast and then a shotgun start at 11 a.m. The cost is $100 per player. At 3 p.m., the group will host a bone marrow drive to help people like Jesse.
“I have a match, but thousands of kids don’t. You could save a life like mine,” Jesse said in a statement for Katie's Game.
There will also be a dinner and silent auction along with raffles and entertainment starting at 3 p.m. There is a $20 donation charge to attend.