Audrea Lewallen

Cindy Sullivan (left) hugs Audrea Lewallen during the fundraiser at Headstrong Brewery last Friday evening. A magician, silent auction, door prizes, live music and a gun raffle were some of the events organized for the evening.

Music, magic and friends were on hand Friday evening to support her fight. It’s a fight that has hit close to home. Not only has she been the recipient of a cancer diagnosis, her sister has fought the disease as well.

Audrea Lewallen received the news May 16: stage three follicular lymphoma. Lewallen has been chronicling her journey through her Facebook page Oddstrong.

As with many across the country, she found out how expensive fighting cancer is. Without insurance, and after being denied Medicaid, she knew that she would need help to cover some of the costs.

“I’m fighting the (Medicaid) denial,” she said. “I’m kind of in limbo right now.”

With the help of some friends in Douglas, Lewallen was able to attend a fundraiser organized by Tom Schirmer and his son Chris, owner of 5150 Productions.

Family and friends gathered together at Headstrong Brewery with just one goal: Have some fun and raise some money for Audrea’s fight against cancer.

They held a silent auction, offered door prizes, and provided live music and entertainment with a magician.

“I want to thank everybody,” she said. “It’s been a rough road but this town, the people, my friends and family make it better.”

Her sister, Monica Rogers, was also diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in June and underwent surgery. She recently received the news that the cancer hasn’t spread and she won’t need treatments at all.

“My sister has been taking care of everything for me,” she said. “I call it the sisters’ cancer. Terrible thing but it sure has brought us closer.”

Lewallen has received some good new of her own, as well.

“I just had a PET scan to see how the cancer has been reacting to the treatments,” she said. “I got the words I’ve been praying for, remission.”

After the first few treatments, the scan showed that there were no more signs of cancer. Although she will have to finish her treatments, she is excited and looking forward to the future.

“Although this one (lymphoma cancer) is one that will likely return, I’m extremely happy with the results,” she said.

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