Team Faith events help others

SOUTHINGTON – A local woman for whom the first Team Faith fundraiser was created is now holding events to help others in need.

Jodi Lehmann, event organizer, said the first fundraiser was held in January this year to help her and her family as she battled breast cancer.

Lehmann said she now plans to hold other events, one per year, to help others battling breast cancer or other illnesses.

”I know the need is there to help others. I appreciated all the help I received,” she said.

This month, a benefit was held at Southington schools to help sophomore Zack Weaver, who was seriously injured in a dirt bike accident a month ago, raising $5,000 to help the family.

”We had gift baskets,

50-50 and a bake sale to help Zack and his family,” she said.

She said while Zack Weaver’s benefit had nothing to do with breast cancer, the family was friends of hers.

The group also helped at a fundraiser for student Garrett Proverbs, who had battled cancer. Planned for next year is a benefit on Feb. 22 at Southington schools to help Debbie Lee, who is battling breast cancer.

Joellen Weaver, mother of Zack, said she was very shocked that so many people in the community came out to help.

“There were many people we knew and many we did not know who helped us. It’s nice that the community came together to help,” she said.

Her son has been receiving therapy and went to a brain specialist.

”He was allowed to play basketball,” Weaver said.

Zack suffered severe closed brain injury and has been on the road to recovery after having been in a coma. He goes to Cleveland for intense therapy to strengthen his mobility and speech.

Funds from the event will be used for medical expenses and other costs of the family.

Those who helped at the event wore special gray shirts with a pink ribbon which stated “Whoever said that winning isn’t easy wasn’t fighting breast cancer.”

Lehmann said the team was organized in January of this year, named Team Faith because her middle name is Faith.

”This benefit was a huge success and raised a significant amount of money for me and my family. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2012. I had to have a lumpectomy followed by a mastectomy. I had eight rounds of chemo and 33 rounds of radiation. I now have neuropathy in both my hands and arms caused from the Taxol chemo, and I am no longer able to work,” she said.

Lehmann said she wanted to reach out and help others have their cancer detected early and to not have to go through what she went through.

”It’s the only way to save lives,” Lehmann said.