Saturday, June 9, 2012

Screw Cancer

***Update! The benefit held at my wine bar Urban Decanter raised about $2079 for Ashley! Thank you to everyone for their support and donations! It is very much apprecieated! Somehow we DID pull the BBQ off as a surprise! Ashley had no idea! =)***

Cancer is a term that I never thought I would hear until I was older. I couldn't imagine having it, and would have never thought that any of my friends or peers would either. I recently heard that one of my friends from high school, Ashley, was diagnosed with stage 3 uterine cancer. When I heard the news, my heart broke.

 We both grew up and went to school in a small town. I first met Ashley in grade school through sports. She went to Carlton Grade School, I went to Yamhill Grade School. I remember having to guard her in basketball, and thought she was was a fantastic player. I actually didn't always want to guard her because she gave me a challenge! The only thing I had on her was that I was older than 20 days or so! In high school we were both friends and peers. We were not close friends, but going to a small school there is that sense of closeness and community. We graduated in 2004 with a class of around 100 students. Since graduation I have not seen Ashley in person but I see how she is doing on Facebook.

Fast-forward to today where I am now a college graduate and a wine shop owner. Ashley is a mother, wife and was working a full time job. When I caught news of her cancer, I knew I had to do something to help her....but what? I don't have much money myself but I couldn't just sit there and do nothing. After a few hours it clicked! I should host a benefit! I already had a BBQ caterer booked for June 9th, and so I changed my BBQ into a benefit to help Ashley.

As I take a few moments to post this blog I am thinking about how the day will go. First- I could not imagine being in her shoes. I couldn't imagine being in her mothers shoes. Any age to me seems to young to battle cancer. Secondly- It is fantastic to see how the community responds. When something like this happens, our community always steps up and gives support. Thirdly- The benefit is a surprise. How we have kept it from Ashley is stunning!!!! If she still does not know about this event when she arrives at my shop I will be amazed.

Lastly- I know tonight will be full of laughter, conversation, tears, and happiness. I am very fortunate to be able to host this event for Ashley and her family, I am fortunate to be from the area I am from, and to have a community like I do.

Ashley- From the bottom of my heart I hope you keep up that fight against cancer. I know you are tough! You proved it in grade school to me! I know that we are all very happy to support you! Let me know if you need anything ever!


Thank you to everyone who has donated items for the silent auction and raffle.

The BBQ to benefit Ashley and her medical costs is today from 6 to 9PM at Urban Decanter in Forest Grove, OR.

If anyone is interested in donating money, a fund is set up at Wells Fargo under the Ashley E Patterson Medical Fund. You can donate at any Wells Fargo!