Car show provides lift for boy with rare cancer

Mason Kersey shows off his “ride” at the Miracle for Mason Car and Bike Show Sunday in Destrehan.

Only 4th person in last 50 years to have disease

St. Rose Tavern played host to a strong crowd of big-hearted car and motorcycle enthusiasts Sunday, all there to merge an interest they’re passionate about with a great cause.

The Miracle for Mason Car and Bike show was created by the group Nola Rides and it saw more than 200 cars on display, along with several motorcycles. There was quite the variety between them, be it classic or antique cars that have been restored, electric cars or the sleek sports car so many dream of driving. But more importantly, all proceeds went to the family of 12-year-old Mason Kersey, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer in early October.

Kersey has anaplastic large cell lymphoma. It’s a type of blood cancer that resides in the lymphatic system and also outside of the skin with painless enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin. Other parts of the body commonly affected include bones, skin, bone marrow, lungs and the liver. The cause of the illness is unknown. There have been only four known cases in the United States over the past 50 years.

Felecia Kersey and her son Mason at Sunday’s car and bike show. Mason, 12, was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma this year and is the show’s beneficiary.

“Mason is number four,” said Felecia Kersey, Mason’s mother. “We found out Nov. 2 … having so many people out here to support a total stranger, really, is so amazing. We’re so thankful they’ve done this for us.”

She said he’s been strong through it all.

“He’s actually been keeping us in happy spirits,” Felecia said. “He has his moments, but for the most part he’s always laughing, smiling and telling jokes so everyone could be at ease.”

That exuberance was on full display at the show, as Mason went from car to car to enjoy each — and to eventually judge the “Best in Show,” a flame-throwing truck that set itself apart from the competition.

Joey Bonstaff of Nola Rides said this was the group’s first car show, and that plans had been in the works for awhile without being cemented. But once Mason’s cause came to light, it became a natural time to put things into motion.

“(Felecia) is a single parent, and we wanted to put this show on to help her pay the bills,” Bonstaff said. “We really started promoting this a month, month and a half ago through social media … we put out about 1,500 fliers, and we got great response. Luckily the weather held out for a beautiful day.”

He said all of the proceeds would be directed to the Kerseys.

“We’re not making any money from it. Helping people is what this is all about,” he said.

Joseph Prescott of St. Rose has had a strong interest in cars and car shows for approximately two decades and said he was proud to see so many turn out.

“It’s just for a good cause, to help a young man who needs it,” Prescott said.

 

 

 

 

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