Cathy Peterson of Cascades is rallying up support for her friend, Lisa Bowen, who was diagnosed with breast cancer eight months ago.
Peterson, 34, is holding a fundraising event to assist Bowen with her medical expenses. Peterson’s event is on Nov. 2 with more than 15 vendors and crafters selling goods in her home to maximize fund proceeds.
"We call it a celebration of her courage and inspiration for fighting this," Peterson said. "Her friends around the country are helping her with … fighting this thing, and so far it’s working."
Bowen’s girlfriends are from high school in Dayton, Ohio, where Bowen, 33, still lives with her husband Jeff and newborn son Cooper. Bowen found out about the cancer in her 27th week of pregnancy, at the same time as her father was fighting terminal cancer before he died last month.
Bowen immediately had to have a mastectomy. The lymph nodes removed during her surgery also contained cancer, so she had to undergo additional testing and oncology appointments. Less than three weeks after Cooper’s May 23 birth, she was scheduled for her first chemotherapy treatment. Her oncologist told her that the cancer had moved into stage 4 and into several bones in her body and gave her two years to live.
Bowen and her husband contacted The Cancer Center Treatment of America in Illinois to get a second opinion and were given hope. Though they have health insurance, their insurance will not cover all of the expenses associated with Bowen’s treatments. In response, her friends have raised more than $15,000 to help cover those expenses.
"I’ve had a tremendous amount of response from volunteers, friends and neighbors," Peterson said about her fundraising event. "I hope people will come because it’s a fun event and it’s for a good cause."
The event, "My Home Holiday Shop, A Fundraiser for a Friend with Breast Cancer," is scheduled on Nov. 2 from 1-4 p.m. at 20599 Quarterpath Trace Circle. For directions and more information, contact www.visit.myarbonne.com. Some of the items for sale include handmade and costume jewelry, Italian charm bracelets, home décor, candles, bed and bath items, skin care products and children’s books, toys and clothing.
"So many people who are strangers have generously contributed so much time, proceeds and items for raffle for someone they don’t even know," Peterson said. "It is very sad but there are such good things coming out of it. I don’t like focusing on the negative, and neither does she. She wants to focus on the positive."