(CNN) -A 7-year-old California boy spent the last two years growing out his hair to help children battling cancer. Now, he's fighting cancer himself.
Meet 7-year-old Vinny. For two years, he grew out his hair to help kids with cancer.
"I want to help people so they don't have to go to the doctors to fight cancer," said Vinny Desautels.
Thirteen inches of locks, gone with the snip of some scissors.
"And then everyone got excited when mom cut the ponytails off," he said. "I was happy."
Happy to help, a moment of selfless service, asking for nothing in return.
"During that time, he was mistaken for a girl many times, but Vinny took it like a champ and was like 'no, I'm a boy,'" said Jason Desautels, Vinny's dad.
"My eye was getting heavy," Vinny said.
…can sometimes take a cruel turn.
"And it is a stage four, aggressive cancer," Jason said.
A little boy, giving selflessly to help those suffering with cancer, now battling the disease himself.
"Basically what they found is that he has a significant growth on his hip and in the bone around the eye and behind the nose, and on the cheek on the right side," Jason said.
This sweet 7-year-old, optimistic, but ever the realist, trying to make sense of the diagnosis.
"Well, the veins from my hip are traveling to another place right behind my eye and it`s making it squinty," Vinny explained.
Squinty, and tough to see perhaps, but one thing is clear. Vinny is a fighter, and he won't be in this battle alone.
"I think as long as we are doing this as a family," said Amanda Azevedo, Vinny's mom.
In related health news, early detection is key to fighting breast cancer, so take advantage of a free breast cancer screening event Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m. until noon at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center in Lawton. For an appointment, call 580-250-6565.