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Helping Hands Poker Run returns for 30th year

Helping Hands Poker Run.PNG
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 09:09:08-04

BILLINGS - A group of motorcycle riders left Billings late Sunday morning and made stops in Shepherd, Huntley, Custer, Hardin, Lockwood and back to Billings.

The annual poker run helps pay for medical expenses and this year it benefits the family of Tre Nuno, 11, who is recovering from Leukemia.

Nunos family.PNG
KTVQ photo

Since 1992, motorcycle riders have helped families with children who have critical illnesses.

The group took one year off in 2020 because of COVID, came back in 2021 and returned this year for the 30th year Helping Hands poker run.

In April, Tre Nuno celebrated the end of 2-1/2 years of treatments for leukemia.

"I just thank my parents and everyone and the Poker Run," said Tre Nuno. "And everyone who's helped me and all the people that have supported and helped the cause. Just want to thank them."

"It was December 23, 2019 and Trey was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia," said Rosalie Nuno, Tre's mom. "And acute meaning that comes on very quickly."

Tre immediately went to Denver for one month, and the treatment continued in Billings.

"We are truly grateful for the community and for just all of our family and everyone else that has pitched in wherever they could not just financially but emotionally," said Juan Nuno, Tre's dad.

"I think it brought us closer to God as well," said Rosalie Nunos. "You have to there's so many times you're praying to God to save your child to help them get through this. You just have to have faith. You have to have faith you have to have hope. If you don't have those things you can't get through it."

The Nunos say the support from family and friends and now the Helping Hands Poker Run has been important for the family.

"It's an overwhelming feeling of generosity that I've never experienced in my life," said Rosalie Nunos. "Just grateful."

Tre's grandfather and uncle served breakfast to the riders at the Tap Inn, the start of the poker room.

"We help our community because we keep families together, you know, because what tears you apart more than, you know, bills,
said Billee Clark, president of poker run. "You know, fighting and bills and everything. So if we take care of the bills that helps the family. Just worry about their kids and stay united."

Clark has been running to help enhance poker run since the beginning.

"I think everybody kind of cares a little bit so gets involved and helps out," Clark said. "Every bit helps. Every year it makes it more successful."

"And having to go through this is already so emotionally physically, financially stressful," Rosalie said. " That something like this, that the community helps raise money for to help your child it just takes that much a little bit of stress off."

Juan and Rosalie say they want to support other families with a child battling cancer.

And now the family will monitor Tre for the next five years.

"Little by little you find things and you find moments that you can try to get and persevere through those and then realize he's fine," Juan said. "Like he's good. He's gonna be good.

Tre has a new dog Luna, and he's ready to get back to normal school life.

"Most of my friends are going to be at Will James, which I'm really excited about," Tre said.