The Reformation House in Quesnel raised $5,145 for Deana Lloyd, a local woman with stage-four breast cancer, at a fundraiser last Thursday night (May 31).
The goal of the night was to raise $5,000 for her treatment, which she receives from a doctor in the U.S. and which costs her $1,400 USD (approximately $1,800 CAD) per month.
The fundraiser, A Night of Hope, was a women-only evening hosted by pastor Rebekah Harding. Those who attended the event were served dinner, and took part in a silent auction, a dessert auction, draws and other activities.
Harding says the aim of the event was to help inspire hope in the community.
“You hear a lot of stories of women in the community that are going through a tough time,” says Harding. “People are going through depression, anxiety, fear of the future and we just wanted to inject hope in the community.”
A speech by Lloyd was the main event of the evening, although participants also heard from Ilyn Lybeck, a 92-year-old woman who has survived six heart attacks, and Cyndi Logan, who also has cancer.
About 60 women attended the event.
Lloyd, who has been attending church at the Reformation House since her first cancer diagnosis in 2014, says she wasn’t expecting the fundraiser. “I’m shocked,” says Lloyd.
Her speech chronicled the events of her life, from a car crash at age 22 that took the life of her high school sweetheart and long-term boyfriend, to meeting her current husband, having children, and another debilitating crash that forced her into long-term physiotherapy.
It wasn’t until 2014 that Lloyd was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy and went through 17 rounds of chemotherapy, eventually coming out of it cancer free.
But in October 2017, when Lloyd felt a pain in her back, she knew something wasn’t right. There was a small hole in her spine, and further tests found that it was stage-four breast cancer.
Lloyd has been on an experimental treatment from the U.S. for the last five months, and says that so far, it seems to be working.
In her speech, she addressed the room.
“There is one thing I can do for those who are facing giants,” she said. “Give them hope.”