Unflinching community, helping hands and hearts breed healing

Four years ago you were diagnosed. You, happy island woman, wife, mother of small children. Words you previously heard little of began the constant refrain that hovered near your unwelcoming ears. Words like PET scan, white blood cells, non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, lymphangiogram, x-ray, stages, malignancy, indolent or aggressive, contiguous or noncontiguous.

Polly Garrett

Four years ago you were diagnosed.

You, happy island woman, wife, mother of small children.

Words you previously heard little of began the constant refrain that hovered near your unwelcoming ears. Words like PET scan, white blood cells, non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, lymphangiogram, x-ray, stages, malignancy, indolent or aggressive, contiguous or noncontiguous.

You, the stoic one, giver of smiles and positive community spirit, told few who knew you. You endured it with the help of the few who knew.

Now, after intense treatment with chemotherapy, blood and platelet transfusions and antibiotics for more months than you care to remember, going back and forth to the hospital, shuffling your home life, making it all work while you try to stay alive, everything just to stay alive, there it is.

Light at the end of the tunnel.

You are Polly Garrett and these are your friends.

Garrett’s friends invite the community to a fundraiser with dining, dancing and live music for Polly and her family from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at Bayview Hall in Langley.

Food for sale will include Dorcas Young’s traditional African cuisine, Neal Mobley’s delicious soups, Chocolates by George and coffee from Coda di Topo.

Featured from 4 to 6 p.m. is a family-oriented afternoon of music and other entertainment presented by members of the community with Ethan Berkley as the emcee.

From 6 to 10 p.m. enjoy the eclectic Euro-instrumental music of “Yours Truly,” some Marimba and Zi Jal, South Whidbey’s own gypsy-folk-jazz ensemble, with Larry Neubauer as emcee.

A dance contest will be from 9 to 10 p.m.

Garrett’s loss of income, ongoing medical insurance premiums, deductible and hospital travel expenses are having an overwhelming effect on the family’s financial resources.

The goal of Garrett’s friends is to raise $10,000 to meet just one year’s medical expenses.

The suggested donation is $30 to $50 per adult, but any amount below or above that is warmly appreciated.

Tickets are available at the Whidbey Island Waldorf School and at the door.

Donations separate from the event can be mailed to: Polly Garrett Support Fund, 3929 Campbell Road, Clinton, WA 98236.

For tickets and info or to volunteer, call Celeen Woodbury at 341-4362.

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