LIMA — The O’Reilly Auto Parts 4-Wheel Jamboree at the Allen County Fairgrounds provided the setting Saturday for a cancer-stricken young man and his family to take a break from fighting the deadly disease and enjoy life, for a moment.
“It’s kind of fun because you get to see monster trucks even though you don’t get to see them very often,” said Blake Wagoner, 11, of St. Marys (formerly of Delphos) who has been fighting cancer since November.
The young man has been in and out of hospitals since then and is putting on a brave face as he battles the disease.
He’s had chemotherapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, as well as blood transfusions and multiple testings and scans to help fight the Hodgkins Lymphoma.
“The week after his 11th birthday, he had a mass under his chin and found out it was stage 3 cancer. It hit him kind of hard,” said Vincent Wagoner, Blake’s father.
Blake isn’t letting the cancer diagnoses get him down even though he’s missed out on a lot of things he enjoys.
“He’s taking it like a champ. He’s always got a smile on his face no matter what. He’s always on the go, doesn’t put him down yet,” Wagoner said.
The fight is far from over as the cancer had spread throughout his body through his lymph nodes. The hope is that the chemotherapy took care of that.
“He’s doing great, right now. Everything is, for the most part, gone. They’re just keeping an eye on everything but it’s still it’s a long process to go,” said Wagoner.
Casey Cares was instrumental in getting the Wagoner family tickets for the 4 Wheel Jamboree in Lima.
The organization was started by Casey Banes in 2000. It works with families in seven states throughout the Mid-Atlantic and parts of the Midwest and in Washington, D.C. The foundation provides ongoing and uplifting programming to critically ill children and their families.
“Casey Cares reached out to us and the 4 Wheel Jamboree. We’ve known about it, we’ve been here a few times over the years and just something fun to do for kids, just the activities, it gets their hopes up,” Wagoner said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.