Helping Helen: Fundraiser set for East Grand Forks resident, Grafton native

Helen Garcia

At 51, Helen Garcia –a married, working mom of six grown children — finds herself facing the health challenge of her life.

A Grafton, N.D., native who moved to East Grand Forks in 1989, Helen discovered a lump in her left breast during a routine breast exam early this year. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her tumor was rated stage 2 (larger than 2 centimeters but smaller than 5 cm), grade 3 (distinct-looking, faster growing cancer cells).

Since her diagnosis, Helen typically has traveled every three weeks for chemotherapy treatments at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America facility in Zion, Ill.

The effects of her ongoing treatments cause her to feel tired and nauseous, sometimes leaving her unable to work at her job building wind turbine blades from fiberglass at LM Wind Power.  Still, her faith, positive attitude and strong support from family buoy her outlook on her cancer fight.

The former Helen Martinez, who is from a Grafton, N.D., family with 13 children, married Juan DeDios Garcia when she was 17. A year later, Helen gave birth to their only daughter, Michelle; five boys – Juan DeDios II, Pablo, Adan, Abraham and Noah — followed. The Garcias moved to East Grand Forks in 1989, the year Abraham was born; the youngest, Noah, arrived two years later.

Juan DeDios Garcia and Helen Garcia

Helen is known to many people from her time employed at East Grand Forks Head Start, where she was a bilingual paraprofessional, and MasterCuts. She graduated 20 years ago from the Hair Designers Academy in Grand Forks and received her license in cosmetology, but changed her profession after being diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Because of mounting medical bills, the Garcias are in need of assistance.

Family members and friends have organized a free-will offering spaghetti dinner and accompanying silent auction, set for 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at Southgate Casino Bar & Grill, 2525 S. Washington St., Grand Forks. NDAD is a fundraiser sponsor.

You also can help the Garcias by mailing a donation to NDAD, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Or, donate to the Garcias online at http://www.NDAD.org/fundraisers.asp .

All proceeds will help offset Helen’s medical expenses and the family’s essential day-to-day expenses.

—–

Follow NDAD here on Areavoices.com and learn more about its programs and activities, including community fundraisers, and how they may help you or someone you know.

Another great way to keep up on NDAD and other news, issues, commentary and events that affect people with disabilities — permanent and temporary — and other mobility and health challenges is to log on to Facebook and “like” NDAD  on its Facebook page. Or, just click on the “Like us on Facebook” graphic here.

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Community fundraisers, News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>