The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 25, 2013

Benefit slated for couple diagnosed with cancer within year of each other

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni

RIVERTON, Kan. — Businesses and individuals in the Riverton and Baxter Springs area have stepped up to help a husband and wife who were diagnosed with cancer within a year of each other.

A chili feed and silent auction benefit for Howard and Linda Lawson will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Spring River Assembly of God Church, 5946 S.E. Varck Road, Riverton.

“They’re struggling, and the community has really pulled together and helped,” said Gretta Day, a church member involved in the event. “We’ve had people in town donate like crazy — items for the auction, like oil changes, hair styling, fitness classes, and food items from grocery stores. People from our church are making chili and desserts.”

Linda Lawson was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through chemotherapy, Day said. Immediately after her cancer went into remission, her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

Neither of the Lawsons has been able to continue to work. Linda is on disability, while Howard, who is under hospice care, has not yet learned whether he has been approved for disability status.

“They’re struggling,” Day repeated. “This is what you do. When people are out there struggling, that’s what God wants — an outpouring of love.”

Those who attend the benefit may have chili, dessert and drink for lunch in return for a donation. Silent auction items may be bid on at that time.

“We’re just praying people will come in,” Day said.