Fishing tournament to benefit 15-year-old leukemia patient

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, August 10, 2021

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A fishing tournament will be held later this month to raise money for a 15-year-old battling  acute myeloid leukemia.

The “Fishing for Cancer Patients” bass fishing tournament will be held Saturday, Aug. 28 at Sunny Point Boat Ramp at 2900 Mooty Bridge Road in LaGrange will raise money for Cameron Furgerson. The event will begin at safe light (when there’s enough light to clearly see) and end at 1 p.m.

The event is being sponsored by Springhill Baptist Church. The entry fee is $100 per boat. According to Springhill Baptist Church member Connie McClung, participants have the option of contributing $10 to a pot to potentially win all the money if they catch the biggest fish.

“The $100 entry fee is a 40 percent payout to the winner, and the remaining [money], as well as the donations, will go to the person we’re hosting the tournament for,” she said.

The 40 percent payout may be divided depending on how many boats participate. If there are seven boats, one person will win the full 40 percent. If eight to 13 boats participate, the money will be divided between two people. If there are 14 or more boats, the money will be divided between three people.

Participants can submit up to three fish to be weighed. A spotted bass must be at least 12 inches to be weighed, and a largemouth bass must be at least 14 inches.

Participants can preregister by calling McClung at (706) 616-2258. They can also register the day of.

Furgerson was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on July 2, 2021, according to Tiffany Hunt, a family member, who said that 65 percent of the cancer was in his bone marrow. Since the day after the diagnosis, Furgerson has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy, as well as plasma and blood transfusions. Furgerson is currently being treated at Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta. These treatments require him to spend long stays at the hospital.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer happens when cells in a part of the body start to grow uncontrollably.

“Leukemias are cancers that start in cells that would normally develop into different types of blood cells,” ACS explains. “Most often, leukemia starts in early forms of white blood cells, but some leukemias start in other blood cell types.”

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) starts in the bone marrow, which is the soft, inner part of some bones that generate new blood cells. Usually, it soon moves into the blood. It can spread to other body parts, as well. While AML tends to develop from cells that would turn into white blood cells, it can develop in other blood-forming cells.

Furgerson’s mother, Christy Parmer, said her cousins, Tiffany Hunt, Jodi Dennis and Christi Hand are hosting fundraisers for Furgerson.  Hunt said there would be a benefit yard sale on Oct. 2 and a bike ride with the Red Sash biker club on Sept. 18. Hunt said there will be food sold as well as raffle tickets and prizes at the bike ride event. Those wishing to support Furgerson can also buy $20 t-shirts or $5 bracelets from Hunt, Dennis, or Hand, who can all be contacted over Facebook.

There is also a GoFundMe fundraiser page for Furgerson titled “CameronStrong.”