Friends of Fort Frances resident Christina Stoessinger are urging the community to show its support for her fight against cancer at a benefit dinner/dance this Saturday at La Place Rendez-Vous.
Billed as “That’s what friends are for,” the evening will get underway with a social hour from 6-7 p.m., followed by a dinner buffet, a short presentation, and a dance.
Stoessinger, a 42-year-old single mother, took leave from her nursing job at Rainycrest Home for the Aged here when she was diagnosed with cancer in April.
She is undergoing radiation treatments in Thunder Bay, friend and benefit organizer Linda Thorpe of North Dakota noted Monday.
Stoessinger will be back in town to attend the benefit and is looking forward to sharing her situation with those on hand. Meanwhile, Thorpe is hoping the benefit will give her friend a well-deserved emotional boost—and that proceeds will help offset some financial hardships she faces.
“I want this benefit to bring her emotional support. She has no [life] partner and is facing this cancer with grace,” Thorpe said.
“As I understand it, she stands a good chance of full recovery and will be able to return to work in January. [But] her unemployment insurance has run out and she has no disability benefits,” she added.
“This all makes for a huge responsibility on her.”
Thorpe said the benefit is open to people who have never met Stoessinger, and especially anyone who is braving cancer themselves or with a family member. She also stressed the importance of dispelling the uneasiness felt when cancer is the subject of conversation.
“Fear is a major [hurdle]. Often people don’t know how they can help,” said Thorpe. “We can break up the anxiety by talking about it openly.”
Thorpe urged people who have not already bought a ticket for the dinner to come out and enjoy the dance, or to drop off a card for Stoessinger.
Tickets for the dance only, which cost $10, are available at Mar-Te Sports or Bonnie Blue, and at the door.