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Buddy Check July 2010: Jen Arellano's Story

Jen Arellano is battling breast cancer for the second time in less than three years.<br>

HARVEYS LAKE, LUZERNE COUNTY --Jen Arellano was first diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in August of 2007.

"I thought I was going to die," said Jen.  "You hear 'cancer' and you think you're going to die."

She beat the disease, only for it to come back this past May.

"This time, I lost it even worse than the first time," recalls Jen. "Because how many times can you go through it, without thinking one of the times is going to take you?"

Now fighting Stage 4 cancer that's reached her lymph nodes, the 34-year-old finished up radiation treatments and started chemotherapy this month.

Scott Arellano has watched his wife of 11 years go through two mastectomies, a hysterectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.   

"I'm hoping this is it, this is the end," he said.

One thing helping the Arellanos fight cancer is community support.

"It's been unbelievable. Simple words, just unbelievable," said Scott. "It really restored my faith in humanity."

This Saturday, July 31st, there's a fundraiser at the Idetown Fire Hall, complete with live bands, a DJ, food, and lots of raffles.  It's aptly called "Twice as Strong."

"The community support is fantastic," Jen said. "I'm flabbergasted at how much people are helping."

All the money raised will go toward Jen's medical bills.

"It's one of the hardest things for someone like me to, you know, sit back and say, hey, we need help," said Scott.

But they do need help.  Insurance doesn't cover everything Jen needs to fight breast cancer.  And the Arellanos know whoever can help, will.

"I'm going to be a 50-year survivor," Jen said. "I'm going to make it to 80 at least, so I can be a 50-year survivor."

A card someone gave Jen said this: "Clearly cancer doesn't know who it's messing with."

This Saturday's benefit is at the Idetown Fire Hall along Route 415 in Dallas from 6 to 11:30pm.  It's $10 for those 21 and over, $5 for people under 21 and senior citizens, and kids under 3 get in free.  For more information, call 639-4922 or 762-6447.

 

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