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The family of a late Kenton woman will sponsor a benefit dinner to raise money to offset the costs she has faced in treating cancer.
Seven years ago, Kae Howard told her family she was having back pain and she was losing weight. She thought a visit to a chiropractor would relieve the pain, but when she arrived for the appointment, Kae was told she needed to contact a physician soon, recalled her daughter, Chasidee Hamilton.
Further medical examinations revealed Kae had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, said her son, J.D. Howard. Doctors were optimistic they could treat Kae and get the upper hand on the disease, he said.
“They told us this was the most curable form of cancer,” he recalled. “One doctor told us if you are going to have cancer, this is the best to have.”
After six months of radiation and chemotherapy, the Howard family was told Kae’s cancer was in remission, but it returned.
“Three times doctors thought they had it,” said Chasidee, “but it came back.”
“I don’t think they ever got it all,” said J.D. “They were telling us what we wanted to hear, but each time, she had heavier chemo doses.”
After seven years, Kae’s condition continued to deteriorate. Doctors were amazed she has fought the disease for so long, said her children.
The family learned of a treatment at a wellness clinic in Myrtle Beach. The treatment was very expensive, said J.D., and the insurance wouldn’t cover the costs, but the family agreed they had to do everything they could for Kae.
“It was all natural herbs,” said Chasidee, “and they believed it would work.”
But Kae had too much water on her lungs to survive the treatment, the family was told.
“She was so far along,” said Chasidee. “If we had gotten there earlier, it could have worked.”
In recent weeks, the tumor began pressing against Kae’s spine and the family attempted to make her final days as comfortable as possible, said her children. Kae lost her fight against cancer Monday.
Her funeral is Friday. She leaves behind an emotionally drained family, but there is also the bill from the failed treatment facing the children and their dad, Ron. The cost of the trip to Myrtle Beach was in excess of $40,000, said J.D. To help pay the bills, the community is sponsoring an event Saturday at the Ridgemont High School.
A spaghetti dinner is being prepared at a cost of $8 per adult and $5 per child under the age of 12. A family of four or more can eat for $25 if the children are with their parents.
Donations are being accepted for a silent auction and a deejay will play music during the event.
More information is available by calling J.D. at 419-674-3217 or Chasidee at 567-674-0923.
By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer