Paul McKibben reports:
One doctor told Patty Kinch to enjoy her cancer-stricken infant son B.J. “while we had him.” Another told the family that he knew children with B.J’s tumor who attended college and had led good lives.
“We decided that this one’s going to college,” said Kinch, 53, of Hamilton. “And he’s going to have a good life, and he’s going to have a family or whatever he wants to do.”
Doctors diagnosed the Hamilton eighth-grader the day after Christmas in 1998 with a cancerous tumor in his brain stem when he was 5 months old. Since then, he’s had seven operations and has been in and out of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
He’s also been blind since he was 6 months old.
To make life even more challenging, B.J’s father, Dale Kinch, died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March 2007 at 51 years old.
Dale’s passing left Patty Kinch a widow with four children. Three of the children live with Patty in their middle-class Hamilton home, and her toddler grandson lives with them, too. The oldest lives in Dayton. Patty works at Sears in Tri-County.
To help the Kinches, Deerfield United Methodist Church in Warren County will give all proceeds from its 26th annual dessert auction Sunday to the family.
B.J., 14, said having cancer his entire life is “hard.’’ He said some of the treatment has been harsh and unforgiving. He’s experienced ambulance trips and occasional hair loss but now has a full head of dark hair.
“I have good days and I have bad days. … It’s hard but somehow me and my mommy here get through it,” he said, giving Patty a hug.
Despite cancer, B.J hasn’t missed a grade. He attends Wilson Middle School in Hamilton, where he earns straight As and is on the honor roll. B.J. wants to attend college and possibly become a software engineer. He’s thought about going to Miami or Wright State universities.
B.J. will start another round of chemotherapy in about a week. Patty said the hope is to stabilize B.J’s tumor so it quits growing. But the tumor is considered to be terminal. She said B.J’s attitude keeps him going.
IF YOU GO
What: Deerfield United Methodist Church’s 26th annual dessert auction
When: 5:30 p.m. Sunday, spaghetti dinner; 6 p.m. dessert auction starts
Where: 2757 W. U.S. 22/Ohio 3, Deerfield Township
Cost: $10 per adult for dinner; free to children 12 and under. Dinner proceeds go to the church’s ministries. Auction and bake sale proceeds benefit the Kinch family.
$300 BROWNIES? SOLD!
At Deerfield United Methodist Church, members don’t auction off sports memorabilia or cattle to help a family. Instead, it’s cheesecakes, brownies and other goodies.
Church member Julie Reed of Lebanon said a few years ago a World War II veteran brought in a little aluminum pan of Betty Crocker brownies that sold for $300. Last year, a cake with an alien theme went for $500. She said the auction has never had fewer than about 60 desserts with the average price $30 to $40.
Reed said the church looks for a child with a disability or illness that puts the family in financial need. Last year’s event benefited a child with a birth defect. With a standing-room-only crowd, the church raised about $6,000 with 120 desserts for sale.
The dessert auction uses a professional auctioneer. This year, it’s Steve South, husband of Warren County Commissioner Pat South.