Boy & Girl of the Year
Mississippi and Louisiana Chapter's Boy & Girl of the Year
The Boy & Girl of the Year are local children battling blood cancers who serve as motivation and inspiration to Man & Woman of the Year candidates in their competition to raise funds and win the titles.
Boy of the Year
Dayton Boutte is 4 years old and lives in New Iberia with his mom and dad, Amy and Dwayne, and his big sister, Ramsey. In May 2012, Dayton began having periods of fever and pain in his legs. This happened on and off through November of that year. The last couple of months before diagnosed with leukemia the fever got higher and the pain got worse. He stopped walking during these times. The November episode was by far the worst one, with fever and pain lasting more than 4 days. After seeing a list of specialists (Bone, Kidney and Rheumatology), it was finally suggested that Amy bring him to see Dr. Morad, a Pediatric Oncologist in Lafayette. It didn?t take long for Dr. Morad to discover the problem ? AML or Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. Dayton?s treatment began immediately, and lasted about 5 months, with complications like pneumonia and a serious strep infection complicating matters and bringing him close to death.
With lots of prayers and support, Dayton is out of treatment and walking (even running!) around like all of the other kids his age. Now he is back to being an energetic boy who enjoys going back to visit the doctors and nurses at Women?s and Children?s Hospital in Lafayette who took such good care of him.
We are honored to name Dayton our Boy of the Year. He is truly an inspiration and is a strong reminder of how far treatments have come yet how far we still have to go.
Girl of the Year
Laura Lipari is 8 years old and lives in New Iberia with her parents, Bryan and Gretchen, and her brother Austin and sister, Maddy. Laura was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) when she was 5 ½ years old. Laura didn?t have the typical signs of Leukemia, but only a bump on her head at first. For a very energetic 5 year old, this was not alarming ? she was always getting bumps and bruises from playing. As time passed, Laura started showing signs of sickness ? paleness, stomach aches and unexplained fevers. She also started napping again which was alarming considering she never slept! Gretchen?s instincts told her something was seriously wrong. After removing the bump and bone marrow biopsies, the family was told of the leukemia diagnosis.
The first 10 months of treatment were hard. Laura was home schooled and in isolation for months. Thanks to Dr. Morad at W&C?s she was able to receive chemo treatments and come home the same day. Two years later, and Laura is now finished with chemo, and her future looks bright!
Laura is very active and loves animals and the outdoors. Laura is thriving in school and everyday she jumps on the trampoline, rides her bike, scooter, and 4-wheeler. Her optimistic attitude has allowed her to do almost everything a normal child her age would do, she has even gone alligator hunting with her dad a time or two! We are proud to have Laura and the Lipari family as part of our campaign this year. Their example of strength and courage is an inspiration to all!