LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - (KTRE) - Patreina Sims was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor a few months ago.
A fishing tournament is helping save her life.
"There's some good people in this world," said Patreina Sims. "It makes me feel real good."
Memorial Health System of East Texas puts on Dr. Bill Shelton's Totally Awesome Fishing Adventure out on Lake Sam Rayburn to raise thousands of dollars for indigent cancer patients.
The annual tournament was started by the late Shelton, a former radiation oncologist at the Arthur Temple Sr. Regional Cancer Center in Lufkin.
It was designed to help indigent cancer patients afford treatment.
"Come to find out I had stomach cancer and then it went from stomach cancer to I got it in my hips and my back, my ribs, and my liver, pretty much everywhere," said Howard Earl Tucker.
Proceeds from the tournament have helped pay for gas and medicine for Tucker to receive treatment.
"It made me feel real good because when you don't have any money and you don't have any insurance, it's pretty hard when you've worked all your life and all the sudden you went from wide open to zero," said Tucker.
Jerry and Lynda Crain have been participating in the tournament for more than a decade.
"It just warms your heart trying to help in the struggles that they're going through," said Jerry Crain.
"There's not a lot you can do, but this is something you can do," Lynda Crain said.
She said they'll keep fishing and patients should never give up hope.
"The medical bills are scary, everything else I just kind of put in the Lord's hands," said Tucker. "I'm letting these people take care of the medical bills and he's taking care of getting me healed up."
"I just want to be there for my kids," said Sims. "That's it, as long as God will let me be here, I want to be here."
Sims's tumor has shrunk because anglers are reeling in so much more than just a big catch.
The tournament will be April 30, 2011 at Cassels-Boykin Park on Lake Sam Rayburn.
It's $200 per team.
Registration forms are at Memorial Health System of East Texas, the Arthur Temple Sr. Regional Cancer Center, Loving Toyota Scion in Lufkin, Bass Strike Tackle in Zavalla or by calling Lindsey Mott at (936) 639-7613.
You can also register Friday, April 29, 2011 at Cassels-Boykin Park from noon to 8 p.m. and from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. the day of the tournament.