Avoyelles Helping Hands for Kids - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Avoyelles Helping Hands for Kids

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SIMMESPORT, La. - In between Saturday's scattered showers, a bit of sunshine for sick kids in Avoyelles Parish at the Wildlife Sportsman's Festival.

A lot of people have a lot of fun while supporting a good cause. And News Channel 5's Kathleen Witte found one family who benefits from that support.

Casey Piazza is spending the day with her family. But not all of her kids could make it. Her 3-year-old son, Patrick, is home sick with leukemia. He was diagnosed just last month.

Casey Piazza, Patrick's mom: "Really it all happened so fast. They literally came in, said okay he has cancer, we have to move you guys now. And within an hour we were in an ambulance in the middle of a storm to get to Lafayette Women and Children's where he immediately began chemo."

That's why his mother is supporting this sportsman's festival--because all proceeds go to Avoyelles Helping Hands, an organization that fundraises for kids like Patrick. Events like these provide help with the extra expenses--like gas and food money for families traveling to and from treatments.

Casey Piazza: "The truth of the matter is, my son has cancer, but the world does not stop turning. The light company does not care. They want their bills paid."

Avoyelles Helping Hands for kids was founded in June, and counts this as its first big fundraiser. But they say, they're happy with the turnout--and whatever they can do to help families like the Piazzas.

Verna Bonnette, Avoyelles Helping Hands: "We're going to help as much as we can with what they want. We can't provide the moon for them. We can provide a smile."

But Helping Hands won't stop there. Bonnette says she has big plans and big dreams for the organization.

Bonnette: "Because we want to do something for our kids. Everyone says, they're our future. But the truth is, some of these kids don't have a future. We're their future. We're their now."

Casey says she's confident her son will win this war.

Especially with a community like Avoyelles--and organization like Helping Hands--helping him along.

Casey Piazza: "I think for the most part, our family is still in shock, but I'll tell you like I've told everybody here: it's the support that gets us up out of bed to fight another day."

Casey Piazza says her son is on a 3-year chemotherapy treatment plan--and that his biggest dream is to meet New Orleans Saint Drew Brees.

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