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Karen’s Tribe seeks to help local resident battling cancer

Benefit on tap for Saturday will feature pork steak, live entertainment, auctions by Garrett Fuller | September 21, 2022 at 4:06 a.m.
Democrat photo/Garrett Fuller — Karen's Tribe: Funding the Fight organizers, from left, Tracy Upschulte, Shelly Hampton, Karen Phillips and Tammy Bleich pose for a photo Saturday (Sept. 17, 2022,) during a mum sale outside Ace Realty in California. The four, along with Alicia Carpenter (not pictured), have been planning a benefit for Karen Dameron, a local resident who has been preparing for a stem cell transplant after being diagnosed again with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the immune system. The benefit, consisting of a pork steak dinner, live and silent auctions, raffle, and live entertainment, will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 24, 2022,) at the California Fraternal Order of Eagles building. The silent auction will start at 1 p.m. Saturday.


Sometimes recovery takes a tribe.

Karen Dameron learned in June her Hodgkin's Lymphoma had return. And, she would soon learn her treatments in St. Louis were not fully covered through insurance.

So friends organized the "Karen's Tribe: Funding the Fight" fundraiser to take a concern off her plate.

A silent auction will begin before the fundraiser, at 1 p.m. Saturday, and continue through the event. The actual fundraiser, consisting of a pork steak dinner, raffle, auctions and live entertainment, is on tap for 4-7 p.m., at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 314 N. High St., in California. The cost is $18 for adults, and $9 for children 10 and younger. Kael Wade will provide live entertainment.

Close friends and family such as Karen Phillips, Tracy Upschulte, Shelly Hampton, Tammy Bleich and Alicia Carpenter started planning the event this past summer.

"The goal of the fundraiser is to ease the financial burden that inevitably comes whenever someone experiences significant medical events," event organizers wrote in a statement. "Even when you are insured there is no guarantee that all your expenses are covered. ... Our goal is to raise money to assist with medical deductibles and co-pays, required travel expenses including gas and car maintenance, as well as accommodations that will be required for several weeks following her release from the hospital."

Dameron received her first Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis in February 2020, the statement said. She announced her remission in September 2021, but the cancer had returned by June. With its return came regular trips to St. Louis to prepare for a stem cell transplant.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Hodgkin's lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, a part of the immune system, causing white blood cells to grow out of control. However, "(a)dvances in diagnosis and treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma have helped give people with this disease the chance for a full recovery."

Organizers said donations for the auction will be accepted until Saturday. For more information, visit the "Karen's Tribe - Funding the Fight" Facebook page or contact a committee member.

  photo  Democrat photo/Garrett Fuller — Karen's Tribe: Funding the Fight organizers, from left, Tracy Upschulte, Shelly Hampton, Karen Phillips and Tammy Bleich pose for a photo Saturday (Sept. 17, 2022,) during a mum sale outside Ace Realty in California. The four, along with Alicia Carpenter (not pictured), have been planning a benefit for Karen Dameron, a local resident who has been preparing for a stem cell transplant after being diagnosed again with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the immune system. The benefit, consisting of a pork steak dinner, live and silent auctions, raffle, and live entertainment, will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 24, 2022,) at the California Fraternal Order of Eagles building. The silent auction will start at 1 p.m. Saturday.
 
 


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