By Sara Butterfass
CORCORAN, MN Jessie LaFave of Corcoran was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2007, at the age of 22. She underwent a radical hysterectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy.
LaFave was blessed with remission for almost a year.
Unfortunately, in December 2008, the cancer returned. It was discovered the cancer had reached her liver and multiple lymph nodes.
LaFave graduated from Buffalo High School in 2003, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2007 with a bachelor of arts degree in interior design.
Lafave’s plans to own a business and design homes locally have been put on hold and she has been unable to work since January 2009, due to her aggressive treatments at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic.
The story LaFave wrote on her CaringBridge web site says, “I was told that I am incurable, which I believe is the worst thing that a doctor could ever say to a patient. So, from there, I started chemo and that is still where I am today.”
The Jessie LaFave Benefit was organized by family and friends to help cover the costs of her cancer treatments and living expenses. The benefit coordinators state, “Our goal is to allow her to enjoy life without worry of undue financial burden.”
The benefit is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 21 at the Medina Entertainment Center, located four miles west of Highway 494 on Highway 55.
A silent auction and social hour will begin at 5 p.m., with auction bids being accepted until 7 p.m.
A turkey dinner, including sage dressing, butter crusted mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, a cranberry relish garnish, and rolls, begins at 6 p.m.
Tickets can only be purchased in advance either online at jessielafavebenefit.myevent.com or by calling Tonya LaFave at (763) 443-9593. The deadline for purchasing tickets is Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Adult tickets are $25, children 3-10 are $12, and children 2 and under are free.
A live auction will take place following the meal at 7 p.m.
Auction items are listed online and fall into eight categories; entertainment/recreation/dining, sports, travel, electronics, home decor, health and beauty, apparel, and miscellaneous.
The Jessie LaFave Benefit Committee has been asking area businesses to donate and become a sponsor.
Those who donate $500 or more will have their name listed on a banner at the event, and on the web site, and will receive four complimentary dinner tickets.
Contributors donating $250 or more will have their names displayed on guest tables, and on the web site, and will receive two complimentary dinner tickets.
Auction item donors will be announced at the event in addition to their names appearing on the benefit web site, and receiving dinner tickets based on the donated items’ dollar value.
The benefit committee asks that checks be made payable to “Jessie LaFave Benefit Fund” and mailed to: Farmer’s State Bank of Hamel - Corcoran Office, c/o Jessie LaFave Benefit Fund, 145 Hamel Road, Hamel, MN 55340.
Auction items may be sent to Holly Larson at 1271 Irvine Drive, Hanover, MN 55341, or call Holly at (763) 286-2410 to arrange for item pick-up.
A raffle is also being sponsored by the Corcoran Jaycees to raise money. Tickets are $5 and the drawing will take place Saturday, Aug. 15 at Corcoran County Daze. Raffle tickets may be purchased online.
The grand prize is $1,000; first prize is $200; and second prize is $100.
Any questions should be directed to Tonya LaFave at (763) 443-9593, or by e-mailing Tonya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who cannot attend the dinner are encouraged to attend the live auction at 7 p.m. A small donation at the door is appreciated.
The Jessie LaFave Benefit Committee asks the community to support Jessie in this difficult time, even as she remains “vibrant, strong, determined, and a wonderful example for us all.”
Looking for more information?
To learn about Jessie’s progress, visit her CaringBridge web site at, www.caringbridge.org/visit/jessicalafave.
Visit www.jessielafavebenefit.myevent.com for detailed benefit information, to purchase tickets, to view a list of sponsors, or to make a donation.