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Cancer patient ‘not willing to just lay there and let it happen’

Brenda Stelcer is in California undergoing alternative cancer treatment.

A fundraiser to help a White Rock woman pay for alternative cancer treatment in the U.S. is set for next week in Vancouver.

Friends and family of Brenda Stelcer, a nutritional consultant, said the 53-year-old left for Santa Barbara, Calif. Wednesday to receive a type of chemotherapy not available in Canada, as well as alternative medicines and surgery.

According to her niece, Brittany Westgarth, Stelcer was first diagnosed with bladder cancer just over a year ago.

Surgery to remove a grapefruit-sized tumour, and subsequent treatments, appeared to go well, however, Stelcer learned about two months ago that the disease had spread to her liver, kidneys and lungs.

Doctors told Stelcer she had only a couple of months to live, but her aunt didn’t accept the answer, Westgarth said.

“She does understand what’s going on perfectly, but she’s not willing to just lay there and let it happen,” Westgarth said. “She keeps saying, ‘I’m not going anywhere’.”

Westgarth noted this is not the first time her family has faced cancer.

Her own mom, Patricia Trembley, died from the disease seven years ago.

Cost of the U.S. treatment is about $5,000 per week, Westgarth said. The family has raised enough to cover two weeks, but are hoping to collect enough to afford at least two more weeks, she said.

The April 15 fundraiser, set for 5:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at the Gam Gallery (110 East Hastings St.), will feature five bands, food, a raffle and a silent auction.

Admission is a minimum $5 donation. For $15, guests may enjoy a variety of food plus a drink.

Donations of food items for the evening are still being sought. Financial contributions are also welcome. Those wishing to help, may call 604-537-2043 or 604-351-8520.

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