Benefit gala planned for Haisla cancer patients

Money raised from event will provide financial support for families and the Haisla Cancer Support Group

A local woman is hoping to bring the community together next week, to raise money for community members who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Ayla Thompson is hosting the Courage to Fight Benefit Gala on January 28, to raise funds for three of her relatives who were all diagnosed with cancer in November.

“They were all diagnosed within one week,” she said. “It was a big hit to our community.”

The three women diagnosed are all single moms, she added, and said she understands the worry about money when you have to leave the community for medical circumstances that are out of your hands.

“I had a premature baby, so I was away in Prince George at the NICU and I was away from my other children, so I know what it’s like to be away for medical reasons and not have that financial support.”

Two of the women are receiving treatment and the third is at home, as her diagnosis is terminal, she said.

“So my thought was, why don’t we all get together for one night,” Thompson said. One third of all of the proceeds raised from the event will be going to the Haisla Cancer Support Group, in addition to helping with Thompson’s family members.

“It’s not just benefitting these three individuals, it’s benefitting other people within the community as well.”

Thompson said she’s hoping to raise over $10,000 through the event.

“That would be the ideal hope,” she said.

She said she’s had a great response from people looking to help out on the day of the event, but is still looking for more help with partners or others interested in getting involved.

“I’ve had many people message me and phone me wanting to support on the day of, so I should have a lot of help on the day,” she said.

“As of right now it’s kind of just me organizing everything,” she laughed.

The gala will have a live band, catered dinner, and cash bar, as well as a silent auction and 50/50. Tickets are available for $25 each this week at Cook’s Jeweller in Kitimat and Sunrise Grocery in Kitamaat Village, and will also be for sale at the door the night of the event. Safe rides home will also be provided for those who wish to partake in the cash bar.

Doors will open at 5 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.