Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Editor’s Note: Make sure to mark the date of the “Flushing Zebra” Bash Aug. 16 at Bootleggers, and look for a full featured article about a true Lake Legacy – Larry Wardenburg – in the Aug. 1 issue of The Lake Today.
This week, 30-plus year Lake Area resident Larry Wardenburg has begun the first of three treatments in Switzerland over the next three months or so for a rare form of cancer known as carcinoid cancer.
According to Larry’s daughter and son-in-law, Sandy and Mike Waggett, it only afflicts 10 in 1 million people. They said it is often misdiagnosed as it was in Larry’s case and undetected until it has gone to a major body organ, such as a liver as it did for Larry.
In February, Larry was diagnosed with the rare and fatal cancer, the only hope he has of surviving more than five-10 years is by traveling overseas to get the treatments he is currently undergoing that have been developed specifically to treat this unique form of cancer, the Waggett’s said.
“Once he has the treatment, we expect the cancer to shrink and Larry can live a normal life for several years to come,” Mike Waggett said, noting Larry and his wife, Connie, were the former owners of Reece & Nichols real estate and Lifestyles Properties at the Lake. “The treatment is not covered by insurance as it just came off “experimental” status by the FDA. It is offered in the US, but at four to five times the cost of overseas, including airfare.”
As a result, Larry and Connie’s children – Sandy, Kari, Kim, Jeremy, Chris and Shannon – along with their spouses and additional family members have held a few benefits to help raise funds for the treatments, which cost roughly $45,000. In the Lake Area, Sandy and Mike have helped organize the Flushing Zebra Bash from 5-8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 16 at Bootleggers, with all proceeds form the event aiding Larry’s treatments and raising awareness of carcinoid cancer.
According to Sandy’s blog, “FightingCarcinoidCancer.org,” the reason for the “flushing zebra” name comes from the story that doctors in the medical school are taught – “if you hear hoofs, don’t look for zebras.” In other words, go for the obvious first, the blog stated. For those with carcinoids, they say, “If you hear hoofs, look behind you, it might be a zebra.” Or, look beyond the obvious because it might save your life, the blog explained. Sandy noted that one of the first symptoms of carcinoid cancers is the flushing over the body and face, or in other words, turning red. This happened to Larry before he was diagnosed, and explains the cancer’s symbol of a flushing zebra.
At the benefit, the family’s goal is to raise $40,000 via a variety of different avenues. There will be a live auction with several different packages including 2013 Masters tickets, 2013 Super Bowl tickets, tickets to a NASCAR event, a Top Gun airplane adventure, weekend getaway in a luxury cabin in Gatlinburg, Tenn. for three to four couples, and much more.
In addition, organizers will have a higher end 50/50 drawing with a $100 per ticket, which will allow 100 tickets maximum sold. This way, those who purchased 50/50 tickets have a chance to win $5,000. In addition, there will be a large selection of silent auction items, complimentary food, DJ, wine cork sale and lottery tree, and entertaining atmosphere that will all benefit and raise awareness of an important cause.
Sandy and Mike, who are sponsoring the fundraiser through their business MSW Interactive Designs, are currently asking for additional silent auction items for donation, as well as attendees to the event and accepting individual donations to the cause.
For additional information or how to donate, read the special Leaving a Lake Legacy article in the Aug. 1 issue of The Lake Today or visit www.fightcarcinoidcancer.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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