SYRACUSE — An opportunity to learn about the Cancer Care Fund of Kosciusko County, along with an opportunity to support the fund was held Saturday afternoon, June 10, at the Cocktails on the Lake event. The event was held at the Ruddell Pavilion at the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation Levinson-LaBrosse Wetland and Educational Center, Syracuse.
Approximately 100 guests participated in the event, bidding on 10 different silent auction items and 15 different live auction items ranging from Colts tickets to water toys, and various gift baskets going to the highest bidders.
Tamara Drake, Warsaw, was the guest speaker, briefly sharing with the guests her experience with cancer and the CCF. Drake, a single mother of two boys, Andrew, 14 and Evan, 12, was diagnosed in November 2015 with invasive ductal carcinoma, the same breast cancer her mother and grandmother were diagnosed with. Drake stated because her mother and grandmother had been diagnosed with breast cancer, she was active in getting mammograms.
After her diagnosis, her initial thoughts were how she was going to talk to the kids and continue to make their life normal.
“What I want to speak about today is what you individually do for someone who is going through that. Cancer is scary. The word cancer is scary. What is scarier is not knowing how you’re going to keep every day life, one foot in front of the other, how to get your bills paid, to be a parent for your kids,” she said.
For her, CCF was a “huge relief.” She noted her biggest fear was not being able to meet the responsibilities as a mother instead of focusing on the financial aspect and meeting her bills. Drake had five surgeries costing close to $20,000 and countless trips for chemotherapy. “All that is so much to deal with,” she said. However, with CCF, she did not have to deal with the financial aspects in her life.
“I can tell you how wonderful this is for my family. I want to say thank you from my boys that they did not have to go through the hardship” that others have had to endure. “It was amazing,” Drake said.
While she had heard of the fund through K21 Foundation and her job, she would recommend it to anyone, even as a resource as there are many resources available through the Cancer Care Fund.
The cash bar and appetizers for the evening were provided by Sleepy Owl, Syracuse.