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Benefit Saturday for woman battling cancer

Surgeries, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments are not only taxing on the body, but also the bank account.

That’s why friends of a local woman battling breast cancer have organized a benefit to raise money for her expenses.

The event for Bethany Crum Ackerson will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at Murphy’s Pub, 1810 S. Third St.

Cheryl Davis graduated with Ackerson from Ironton High School in 1991. The two had been friends since junior high, but hadn’t seen each other in 20 years when their paths crossed again.

Davis, who had hip replacement surgery, was doing her rehab at Kingsbrook Lifecare Center earlier this year, where Ackerson was employed. Ackerson told Davis she was waiting to hear if she had breast caner.

Ackerson was diagnosed with breast cancer in March. In the following months, Ackerson, the single mother of a 16-year-old daughter, was in the midst of surgeries and other treatments, leaving her unable to work. Household and medical expenses began to pile up.

Ackerson’s Type I diabetes, which she has had since she was a child, also caused complications with healing from surgeries. Recently, Ackerson was hospitalized due to numbness on one side of her face, which doctors determined was Bell’s Palsy. Doctors also found a six-millimeter mass on her brain, which they hope will turn out to be a benign cyst.

Davis said she asked her friend if she could have a benefit to help her with expenses.

“My husband and I, in the past, have done motorcycle benefit rides to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” Davis said. “We’ve also done benefits for other people who have had financial needs.”

Davis said she went to local businesses and asked for donated items to be raffled off at the benefit.

“Some donated small items and some donated gift cards or larger items,” Davis said. “We were able to get a lot of stuff to raffle off.”

There is no cover charge for the benefit Saturday, Davis said, and most of the money raised will be through the purchase of raffle tickets. Pink and grey T-shirts will be sold for $15, as well as bracelets and rings, to promote breast cancer and diabetes awareness.

There will also be a 50/50 raffle and food.

An account has also been set up at Desco Credit Union for Ackerson. Donations can be deposited at any Decso office or mailed to the Ironton office (2915 S. Third St., Ironton OH 45638). Checks or money orders can be made out to Desco/Benefit For Bethany.

Davis said despite her struggle, Ackerson is remaining positive.

“She has always been a very positive person with a great outlook,” Davis said. “She goes to church and believes God is looking out for her. … She is looking at the positive side. She is very much into her faith. She believes there is a reason she has been given these challenges.”

A Facebook page has been set up, www.Facebook.com/BenefitforBethany, for people to show support for Ackerson and to keep track of how she is doing.

“She has always been a great person and always helped in the community,” Davis said of her friend. “In her time of need, we can pull together to help her out because she has helped so many people.”