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Bend boy battling Stage 4 cancer turns 2 with very special birthday parade

Family, friends celebrate Bend boy with drive-by birthday parade

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- Monday marked a very special birthday for a 2-year-old Bend boy battling cancer as his family, friends and neighbors celebrated him -- safely -- with a birthday drive-by parade on Monday.

It was a very unconventional birthday and rather special one for Patch Hailey, because earlier this year, on July 17, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells.

Patch, like many kids, enjoys playing with trucks. But unlike other kids he's been in and out of the hospital for months.

Six weeks prior to his July diagnosis, he was taken to the hospital.

Patch's father, Ray Hailey, told NewsChannel 21, “We even took him to the doctor twice, and they said it was just teething.”

Hailey said doctors initially thought teething and a growth spurt was what Patch was suffering from, but it was much more. After all of Patch's teeth grew in and ibuprofen no longer helped with pain, he was taken back to the hospital.

After being diagnosed, Patch and his parents were airlifted from Bend to Portland, and for nearly 40 days Patch was treated at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Patch just finished his third round of chemotherapy on Thursday -- the same week he tested positive for COVID-19.

Next Monday, Patch will head back to Doernbecher to have his healthy stem cells harvested. He'll also undergo two more rounds of chemotherapy, undergo surgery and radiation, in addition to other procedures.

The constant trips to the hospital and treatment for Patch have been extremely costly for the family.

“This is just the beginning," Hailey said. "We got our first statement. That was almost $400,000, so it’s just going to continue to go up from there."

Neighbors, friends and family have created a GoFundMe page for Patch, which has raised over $100,000 so far, but the medical expenses far exceed what they anticipated.

Ray Hailey does custom home automation, while Amber is home caring for Patch right now.

While the parents have a long road ahead of them caring for Patch, their only child, Ray Hailey still has a message for others.

“Love your children, and keep an eye out, because there are no guarantees," Hailey said.

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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.


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