May 11, 2015 Share

Family organizes successful ‘Fishing for a Cure’ tournament

Zach and Danielle Wilson and their 4-year-old son, Grant, know all about the trials that come with pediatric cancer. When Grant was eight weeks old he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and underwent two years of treatment at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

“We were in inpatient for 16 months,” Danielle said. “Within this time frame, we got to come home on weekends, a week at the most, and we’d have to go back … you live it every single day.” She said the facility has their own research department. “It is a wonderful thing,” Danielle said. “He was on a trial drug through them and that’s why we went there initially, to help the overall survival rate for five years.”

Despite a few bumps in the road, Grant powered through the treatment like a trooper and will be two years off treatment on May 26. He actually has even been in remission since the first treatment took place when he was 12 weeks old.

“We had so many people that believed that he would be healed and that God would do his duty and he did,” she said. “Just to see Grant now, people would never know … he’s so full of life.”After being heavily involved with Relay For Life locally, they decided to step out on their own for their cause.“Afterward, we decided that we wanted to do something where all of our money raised would go toward pediatric cancer awareness,” she said.

“Research, helping the families, just anything Cincinnati could do. That place helped us in ways that we can’t even begin to give back enough.” That’s why the Wilson’s began
the annual Fishing to Fight Cancer tournament on Lake Cumberland last year. The event, presented by Baby Grant’s Believers, was so successful a year ago that they decided to host the tournament once again this year at the Pumpkin Creek Boat Ramp inside the Lake Cumberland State Park.

This past Saturday, 31 boats with two fishermen each, up 10 entrants from a year ago, headed out to see who could bring in the most, and biggest bass from the lake to take home the top prize, a guaranteed $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, $300 for third place and $150 for fourth place. At the end of the day, a total of $3,805, including that from event sponsors, was raised for the hospital.

If you couple that with last year’s donation, it is more than $5,000 given to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. There was an entry fee of $90 per boat.

All in all, the duo of Doug Burton and Roger Blair brought home the first place prize money after their catch weighed in at 17.10 pounds. The pair also had the largest fish of the day, weighing in at 5.20 pounds.

Allen Pendleton and Jerry Wethington finished in second place with 16.20 pounds. Wilson and his partner, Ricky Roy, finished in third place with 14.10 pounds while Justin Byrd and Ben Burton came in fourth place with 13.05 pounds of fish. “All of our sponsors donated anywhere from $100 to $200,” Danielle said. “And these children need it, you don’t realize how badly until you walk through the hospital. Nobody can imagine.”

Sponsors for the event included J&S Gun and Pawn, FABCO Inc., Bank of Jamestown, Loy’s Custom Interior, Hadley’s Construction, Bluegrass Dumpster, Don Franklin Motors,
Russell County Farm Bureau, Lawless and Smith Hardware, Morgan Sanitation, Inc., TNT Carpet, Hubbard’s Building Supply, Wilson Realty and Auction, First National Bank, Montgomery Furniture, Adam Stille-Edward Jones, Charles Robertson, McDonald’s, Stephens Pipe and Steel, Southern Kentucky Monuments, Neat Trucking, Tarter Gate, A-1 Gate, Baldock Gate, Lake Country Outdoors, Mighty Dollar, Lake Country Outdoors, Sheldon Stephens, CPA, United Citizens Bank, Blaze Custom Lures, Brian Walters, Thomas Sports Apparel.

“They saw the cause and helped us out,” Danielle said. “We hope to make this a big thing that happens down here every year.” If anyone wants to donate toward pediatric cancer awareness and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital they can do so at Lake Country Outdoors, or by contacting any member of the couple’s family or by calling 270-250-5024 or 270-566-0169.

When asked who healed his body, without any hesitation Grant said “God” and said he was glad all the fishermen came out to support his hospital. He said next year, when he’s five years old, he wants an even bigger turnout for the good cause.