ROSEVILLE -- For two years, 7-year-old Vinny Desautels grew out his hair to help kids with cancer.
"I want to help people so they don't have to go to the doctors to fight cancer," he said.
Thirteen inches of hair gone with the snip of some scissors.
"And then everyone got excited when mom cut the ponytails off. I was happy," Vinny said.
He was happy to help, a moment of selfless service, asking for nothing in return.
"During that time he was mistaken for a girl many times, but Vinny took it like a champ and was like, 'Nah, I'm a boy," Vinny's dad, Jason Desautels, said.
But life can sometimes take a cruel turn.
"My eye was getting heavy," Vinny said.
"It is stage 4 aggressive cancer," Jason Desautels said.
A little boy who gave selflessly to help those suffering with cancer is now battling the disease himself.
"Basically, what they found is that he has a significant growth on his hip and in the bone around the eye and behind the nose and on the cheek on the right side," Jason Desautels said.
The sweet 7-year-old is optimistic, but ever the realist -- trying to make sense of the diagnosis.
"Well, the veins from my hip are traveling to another place right behind my eye and it's making it squinty," Vinny said.
Squinty, and tough to see, perhaps, but one thing is clear -- Vinny is a fighter and he won't be in this battle alone.
"As long as we are doing this as a family, we got this," said Vinny's mother Amanda Azevedo.
Doctors are still trying to identify what type of cancer Vinny has.
If you're able to help the family during this difficult time, they said they would greatly appreciate the support. Donate here: www.gofundme.com/vinnyd