Friends of Curtis and Melissa Gobbett are hoping to gain the community’s support to make Christmas a little merrier for the local family.
Melissa, 32, continues to battle the cancerous, incurable brain tumour she was diagnosed with last year. But despite the seizures, the loss of her job and independence, the ongoing palliative chemotherapy and its endless effects, Melissa continues to shine with strength.
“I try my best,” said Melissa, wife and mother of two young boys: five-year-old Kaiden and two-year-old Carter. “I live my days with hope, for my boys.”
Friend Nichoel Crawford can attest to Melissa’s incredible spirit.
“She takes it extremely well, she’s still really positive,” said Crawford, who as part of Team Gobbett, wants to make the holidays a little brighter for the Coldstream family by removing some of their financial burdens.
In order to do just that, a fundraiser is organized for Thursday at the Lumby Curling Club, with a pasta dinner at 6 p.m. courtesy of Big Steve’s Catering.
Music will also be provided courtesy of Steve Nagy and a silent auction will further benefit the family courtesy of donations from North Okanagan businesses.
Along with cash donations to help the family, silent auction items are needed for the event.
“Anything really,” said Crawford, noting that it is a kid-friendly event so children’s items will be highly sought-after.
Melissa, who spends a lot of time resting and sleeping, was doing just that when the first sign of something wrong began.
“My oldest son found me having seizures in the middle of the night,” said Melissa, who has continued to have the seizures.
Following a great deal of confusion, a CT scan revealed the cause of the seizures – a brain tumour the size of an orange.
“It’s really deep in my brain, that’s why it’s still there. They can’t remove it,” said Melissa, as surgery could leave her paralyzed, among many other risks.
Following six-weeks of radiation in the spring, an MRI revealed that the tumour had become more aggressive. So now, Melissa is on a palliative form of chemotherapy.
But despite her prognosis, there is hope as she continues chemo every month, follows up with MRI’s every two to three months and many more visits to see the oncologist and cancer centre in Kelowna.
“I have a beautiful family, two wonderful kids and I just keep looking ahead at that. That’s the spark that keeps me going.”
If enough funds were raised, Melissa would like to try alternative therapies and treatments.
“I would like to try,” she said. “I want to be with my family as long as I can.”
Unfortunately many alternative therapies are out of financial reach due to their reduced income and increased medical and travel expenses (along with the day-to-day bills).
“We of course make do but it’s tougher now,” said Melissa.
Curtis continues to work at Kal Tire, a company which has been incredibly generous and understanding, allowing him to be at her side whenever needed.
Anyone wishing to help by purchasing tickets to the event (tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for children
and organizers are hoping ticket orders will be made by Tuesday) or making donations can contact one of the following:
– Nichoel Crawford, 250-503-4741, firstname.lastname@example.org (Coldstream)
– Stephanie White, 250-309-0589, email@example.com (Vernon), pick up after 5 p.m.
– Jeri White, 250-503-8692, firstname.lastname@example.org, pick up at Village of Lumby