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Children dealing with cancer have day of fun

Updated: Saturday, July 12 2014, 10:33 PM CDT
JEFFERSON COUNTY - by Lauren Huet

Children who have beat cancer and children who are still fighting it put their cares away today and enjoyed a day of fun meant just for them. The Southeast Texas Cattle Barons' Ball Committee held its annual Little Wranglers Party at the Sports Connection in Beaumont. All local pediatric oncology patients were invited.

Luke Burkhalter is six going on seven and he had a great time.

"Way much fun!" said Luke.

He was diagnosed with cancer when he was two-and-a-half.

"I was in shock," said his mother, Amanda Burkhalter. "Helpless. You know, as a mother you would give anything to trade places with your child. You never want to see your child go through anything like that, or anybody else for that matter, but especially not your child."

When Luke was at the Little Wranglers Party last year, he was still being treated. This year, he's finished with his treatment and is cancer free.

When asked how it feels, Luke said, "Good!"

Burkhalter says after Luke's treatment was finished, she felt it was time to pay it forward. That's why she joined the Cattle Barons' Ball Committee.

"I know that God put us through that for a reason, and He's using this for a reason," said Burkhalter. "And now it's my turn to help other families and mothers that are going through the same thing."

Kingston Clark is five. He finished treatment for Leukemia last year. Kingston is still going through chemo, but is in remission.

"I was not scared," said Kingston.

Not only is today meant to be fun, but the Cattle Barons' Ball Committee is also raising money for the American Cancer Society through donations.

"Not only do we do things that are locally within the community," said Gaylynne Jones, a volunteer with both the American Cancer Society and the Cattle Barons' Ball Committtee, "but we also make sure that a large percentage of money goes to research. Because ultimately our goal would be to find that cure for cancer."

After his experience, Luke knows just what to say to a child fighting cancer.

"Just hold their hand and just pray for them," said Luke. And his mom knows what to say to their parents.

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel," said Burkhalter. "There is a light, and you may not see it at first, and it may seem very far, but when it's over it shines very bright. "And you've got a lot of people and a lot of support groups. You are not alone."

The Southeast Texas Cattle Barons' Ball will be held November 8th. Money raised from tickets and the silent auction will be donated to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society will use the money for local services in Southeast Texas as well as national cancer research. A general admissions ticket costs 150 dollars.
Children dealing with cancer have day of fun


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