Blanche Cain is a life-long member of Yadkin County who has been dedicated to caring for her family and serving her community.
She’s also battling lung cancer at 72 years old.
The Third Branch Café is pulling together with other business members in the community to host a spaghetti dinner, silent auction and raffle to raise money for Blanche’s ever growing medical bills.
The event will be held at Third Branch Café on May 18 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at The Branch Bakery.
Kim Schimmeck said that her mother worked hard at Westinghouse for 35 years of her life and after retirement she just enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren.
It was a grandchild related injury that would lead to her diagnosis.
“She went to lift her great granddaughter to pick her up and pulled a muscle in her back,” Schimmeck said. “She was hurting so we took her to the local emergency room to see if we could get her something to ease her pain until we could get her to the doctor on Monday morning.”
The doctor insisted on an x-ray due to Blanche’s age. He feared she might have cracked a rib. What he found was two tumors on the x-ray films.
“When he put the x-ray up on the monitor, that’s when he saw the cancer,” Schimmeck said. “She has a tumor in the upper lobe of her left lung that is six centimeters and a tumor in the lower lobe of her left lung that is four centimeters.”
Blanche was immediately referred to her family doctor and sent for a PET scan. Her scan showed cancer in both tumors found in the X-ray as well as in the lymph nodes in the center of her chest. A lung biopsy confirmed the cancer.
Blanche is currently going through chemotherapy treatments and will have a total of 18 by the end.
“They did one scan about four weeks ago and the six centimeters tumor had shrunk to five centimeters and the four centimeters tumor had shrunk to 3.5 centimeters,” Schimmeck said.
After the final chemo treatment another scan will be performed and if the tumors have continued to shrink she will begin radiation.
All of Blanche’s medical treatment bills have started to pile up and she’s struggling to make do while living on social security.
“All that my mom has is Medicare and Part D Supplement, which will only cover 80 percent,” Schimmeck said. “Even after Medicare, 20 percent of her medical bills might as well be a million dollars to someone living on social security. I tried to get more help for her but she wasn’t eligible for any assistance.”
After hearing about Blanche’s situation, Gaye Baity, owner of The Branch Bakery and Third Branch Café, decided she had to do something to help.
“I worked with Gaye and Curt at Battle Branch for eight years and I still help them out some whenever they need it. Gaye wanted to hold the fundraiser to help out with mom’s medical bills,” Schimmeck said.
The event will feature a DJ, a silent auction and door prizes. Silent auction items include paintings from three local artists, lawn tools, a hand carved wooden bowl, four tickets for the zoo, four tickets for Tweetsie Railroad, gift certificates to local businesses, jewelry and purses.
“Mom is very thankful,” Schimmeck said. “She cried when she found out they were doing this event.”
According to Schimmeck and Baity ticket sales have been going well for the event and local businesses and individuals have been very responsive to donating goods or services for the benefit.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.