Benefit helps Champion woman

SOUTHINGTON – Cyndi DeMoss of Champion said she was speechless from all the support and love she received Saturday at the third annual Beth Ann Vanek This Means War Against Breast Cancer fundraiser.

The event held all day at Southington schools complex included three-on-three basketball, auction, raffle and bake sale, with money raise to help DeMoss with her medical costs as she battles terminal breast cancer.

“There are no words to tell them how grateful I am, for what they are doing,” DeMoss said.

DeMoss said she was overwhelmed when they told her this year’s event would be to help her. Vanek said on Sunday, the goal was to raise $5,000 for DeMoss, and the final tally came in around around $7,000.

“I am so grateful. It is a blessing,” DeMoss said, noting there is costs for travel expenses and, while she is on her husband’s insurance, it doesn’t cover all the costs of her treatments.

“When you go from working full time to not working, it can get expensive,” she said.

DeMoss, a nurse since 1997, had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and must undergo monthly treatments. She can no longer work due to her diagnosis. DeMoss said the cancer has spreads to her lymph nodes and liver.

She still receives bills for hundreds of dollars every year despite having Medicare and health coverage from a secondary insurance through her husband, who is a disabled veteran.

Southington native Kelli Young, one of the event coordinators, said this is the third year for the fundraiser, originally started in 2011 to help her sister, Beth Ann Vanek, who was battling breast cancer.

Vanek said she is recovering with no signs of the cancer returning.

Vanek said she like DeMoss also had insurance but it did not cover all the expenses such as traveling costs and bills.

Last year’s event helped Debbie West of Bristol, who was also battling breast cancer.

Plans are to hold the event each year with Vanek and DeMoss planning to be there.

“I hope to continue to help others who have helped me,” DeMoss said.

Vanek, who received help form the Hope Cancer Center in Howland, said the event included nine new sponsors and new events, such as a children’s princess characters visit.

”This event helped me immensely,” she said, noting family, friends and people from the public have been so supportive.

Vanek and her husband, Chuck, have two children.

At the fundraiser, people could sign a message on the Breast Cancer Tribute Wall for someone who is battling cancer.

The three-on -three basketball event included 33 teams with players from Trumbull and Mahoning counties. There was also a Chinese auction with 196 items.