Hoping to drive away cancer

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June 20, 2012, 6:25 pm
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(NECN: Amy Sinclair) - It is the longest and hottest day of the year so far - and NECN caught up with Ryan Wilkins at high noon as he was playing his 108th hole of the day at the Maple Lane Golf Course in Livermore, Maine.

"I started at 4:20 and I'll go until 9 as long as I can see. So it's a long day," said Wilkins, who hopes to play at least 200 holes of golf on Tuesday.

Maybe it's this elementary school principal's love of sports that connects him to third grader Caleb Morris.

Caleb was diagnosed with stage three embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma - a rare childhood cancer.

"I was so bummed out, I didn't know what to think," said Caleb.

The Morris family got the news this spring just as grandmother Pam Morris was wrapping up her treatment for breast cancer.

"It was a horrible nightmare. Grammy would do it over a million times to take it away from him - but it doesn't work that way," said Pam.

Caleb's family does have medical insurance - but there are many other expenses, including lost work time, transportation to Portland, hotels and restaurants - and Caleb's treatment could last a year.

So, with his students keeping him fortified with Coke and M&Ms, Principal Wilkins is doing a one-man golfing marathon in hopes to raise at least $2,000 for the Morris family.

"To have this happen to him was a really sad situation and I wanted to do something to make an impact," said Wilkins.

"He's gonna be hot out there. Words can't say 'Thank you' enough to the people who are helping us," said Pam.

The financial help will allow the family to stay focused on Caleb's treatment, which start this week.  

And from the looks of things here - if anyone can beat back cancer, it's this young champion.

Tags: maine, golf, cancer, Amy Sinclair, childhood cancer, fundraising, Caleb Morris, Ryan Wilkins, Maple Lane Golf Course, golfing marathon, Livermore, embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma
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