This Saturday, FATZ will host a Short Stacks for Big Change event to gather support for 10-year-old Blaise McNair, a Moore County resident who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The restaurant will hold the pancake breakfast fundraiser from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at its Rockingham location at 714 U.S. Highway 74.
Blaise’s father, Tony McNair of Rockingham, said his son found out about the tumor in June of this year.
“I just noticed that he was off balance and somewhat unsteady when he was outside playing,” Tony said. “We took him to have a CAT Scan and MRI and the tumor was discovered then.”
Since the diagnosis, Tony said they have traveled more than 220 miles a day to undergo chemotherapy and radiation at Duke University.
“We had a five week break from Aug. 1 until (Wednesday),” Tony said. “We’ll go back next Monday for more chemotherapy. It’s a work in progress … the doctor told us he’s never seen a child completely recover, but there’s always the chance.”
Despite the hardships, Tony said his son has remained hopeful.
“He’s doing very well right now,” he said. “We got a good report (on Wednesday). We’re just hoping for the best. The doctor said his tumor looked good as far as treatment at this point, but we just have to take it a day at a time.
“It’s very difficult, especially when it’s one of your children. Blaise is 10 years old and he’s very athletic, he’s always played sports. He excelled in basketball and golf and now he still plays some golf, but naturally it’s affected his strength and his ability. He gets tired a little easier, but overall, he has an awesome attitude. He’s a wonderful son.”
Jackie Hall, Blaise’s aunt, said Blaise’s diagnosis has affected the entire family.
“This has been such an agonizing experience for our family,” she said. “The unexpectedness of having a happy, healthy child one day — and within hours your world falls apart. The saddest thing is that everyone seems to know of someone else’s child facing a medical crisis … you can’t go to a restaurant or pharmacy without seeing a flier. We’ve been lucky to have the prayers and support from so many.”
Proceeds from the pancake fundraiser at FATZ will provide assistance with Blaise’s extensive medical and travel expenses, so that he can cheer on the North Carolina Tar Heels and his favorite golfers for years to come, said his family.
Tony, a retired highway patrolman, has been living in Rockingham for four years.
“You’ll be thankful for life and hope for the best,” Tony said about his son’s diagnosis, “but count your blessings each day — and, through a lot of support from our church and prayer and community, things are going very well at this time. That’s what’s most important … Blaise is awfully special. We hope the community will come out and enjoy a nice pancake breakfast in support of our family.”
Tickets for Short Stacks for Big Change are $7 and can be purchased by contacting Jackie Hall at JHall@firsthealth.org.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.