Off-road poker run will benefit cancer patient

Published 10:13 am Friday, March 21, 2014

Tracy Dale Evans, 6, currently under hospice care


COAL GROVE — Roger and Carol Sexton, of Coal Grove, are proof that scrolling through Facebook can sometimes result in something good.

The story begins with the Sexton’s daughter, Tracey, whose married name is Dale, taking her nursing test.

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“We saw a Facebook page she shared called Prayers for Tracy Dale,” Roger said. “She’s kind of ornery so we clicked on it to see what she was up to.”

What the Sextons saw was a page dedicated to a child and family in need and they felt compelled to help.

The page wasn’t at all about their daughter; it was about a 6-year-old boy named Tracy Dale Evans who was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer, in June of 2012. Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant primary brain tumor.

Tracy Dale has received radiation mixed with chemotherapy at Ohio University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Tracy Dale, originally from Logan, W.Va., and now lives in Huntington, W.Va., then came to Cabell Huntington Hospital where he received more chemotherapy and went into remission. He relapsed in October of 2013.

“After seeing what the page was really about, I started following him and it just stuck with me,” Carol said. “I can’t imagine, as a mother losing a child.”

Once receiving chemotherapy one week a month and regular MRI’s to check for growth or spreading of the cancer cells, doctors recently stopped treatment because it wasn’t hindering the spreading of the cancer. Tracy Dale has a layer of cancer cells coating his brain two millimeters thick and three small tumors above his left ear.

He was hospitalized overnight this past Tuesday and was released under hospice care this past Wednesday. Carol told Tracy Dale’s mother, Rachael, she wanted to do something for him.

So Carol, Roger and Carol’s brother, Freddie Sisler, who is administrator of a Facebook page dedicated to “mud enthusiasts” called Off-Road Toys, have organized an Off-Road Poker Run on Saturday.

Riders from all over Kentucky, West Virginia and southern Ohio have committed to be there, which is at “Miller’s” about 12 miles outside Coal Grove near Leatherwood Cemetery off County Road 6.

Carol lost her daughter-in-law two years ago to cancer and began to cry when remembering how the community rallied around her family.

“We know the financial burden it creates and chose to do something to help,” she said. “ We decided to get a poker run together and lots of other people have contacted us wanting to donate money or an item we can raffle.”

Carol knows very little about the family, but she knows enough to feel compelled to help. She first met Tracy Dale and Rachael at an event this past Saturday where balloons with prayer requests attached were released. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams was joined by firefighters, cops, Huntington High School football players, Batman, family, friends and strangers.

“We found out he loves cars, so we bought a bunch of cars and signed them and gave them to him,” Roger said. “People who have healthy children really don’t know how lucky they are.”

Tracy Dale has three sisters who are also under 10 years old.

“I’m looking for help to decorate along 243 and County Road 6 to bring awareness to the cause,” Carol said. “If Tracy Dale is healthy enough he plans on being there. There will be signs directing travelers on how to get to the Poker Run. Tracy Dale and his family deserves this help.”

All off-road vehicles are welcomed and there will be raffles throughout the day as well as a 50/50 jackpot.

The entry fee for the Poker Run is $10 and $5 for the wheelie contest. Food will be available all day and no special permits are required. All riders must sign a liability waiver and all people under 18 years old must wear a helmet. People 16 years old and under must have a parent’s signature on the waiver. The event is BYOB.

Take State Route 243 to Deering School and a left onto County Road 6. Follow the signs to the location.