Our 2017 Rock and Ride for the Cure Beneficiary was Naomi Psavko (“Saav-Co”). She was tragically diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer, an adenocarcinoma. This is a devastating diagnosis for anyone, but particularly painful in her case because it came weeks after the birth of her son Zachary. Naomi was the mother of two young children — Gracie (2) and Zachary (just 12 weeks) — and she was incredibly young for this particular type of cancer. At the onset of what was to be the battle of her life, it was clear that she and her family were in desperate need of help. Naomi’s doctors set up her treatment plan and she began chemotherapy immediately to try and shrink the tumor on her pancreas. From there she would need major surgery to remove the tumor and then even more chemo to try to battle this horrible disease.
Naomi’s husband, Simon, was left to pay for the medical bills and to care for their young children by himself. Simon is self-employed and provides the family’s only source of income. During Naomi’s battle, Simon took unpaid time from work to be present for his wife and kids. The vast majority of Naomi’s family also lived too far away to dedicate 100% of their time to taking care of her and her children while she went through treatment. On top of this, the Psavko family’s medical insurance would not cover much of the cost for Naomi’s care leaving hefty medical bills to pay through the course of this journey.
Money from our 2017 attendees at Rock and Ride for the Cure generated $4,000 that went directly to Naomi’s family to help with the financial burden left behind. While Naomi will be greatly missed, her memory and story will live on. Each year that we grow larger, the bigger impact we are able to make on a family that is in need.
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