July 16, 2009
Mason Thomas is a name you may not remember but a face not easy to forget. This week's hero can be found sinking putts, hoping that will sink cancer once and for all.
In 2005, Mason was diagnosed with cancer of the Central Nervous System, and from that time on, the Charlottesville and Albemarle communities have come out in force, helping in his fight. Year after year, Mason shows us being a hero, is all about being a good sport.
"It''s hard to go through, but you get used to it after a while." said Mason.
For Mason Thomas, who is only nine-years-old, a while is a long time to be battling cancer.
"He was clean for three years and nine months. We went back for routine scans in April, and he had relapsed in his bone marrow," said Mason's mother, Kelley Kassay.
Kassay says that after all Mason has been through, her son practically has a pseudo medical degree.
"He probably does better than a lot of the nurses and doctors about the disease, so he's a quick learn," she said.
However, mom is more impressed with Mason's strength than his smarts.
"Sometimes I don't even know where I get the strength, but just look at him one time and it's there," said Kassay.
Despite his cancer, Mason is an active child. He is always willing to play sports, specifically baseball and golf.
"Those are my two favorite sports that I like to do," said Mason.
Because of Mason's love of the game of golf, family friend Amy Bishop thought it would be fitting to hold a benefit golf tournament to help raise funds for his treatments.
"It's a good walk spoiled is what I say, because my dad loves to play and I thought it was the most boring thing ever, but it's fun. After it's over, we have lunch and listen to music and it's just a really fun day," said Bishop.
A fun day, where helping Mason forget that he is fighting for his life, is par for the course.
If you are not a golfer, there are plenty of other ways to support Mason. Organizers are looking for people to play, sponsor a hole, or even donate a prize for Saturday's tournament.