Holiday Hand Up campaign helps a West Fargo man battling brain cancer

Lend a Hand Up is starting its 3rd annual Holiday Hand Up Campaign through December 15th.

WEST FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) —┬áThe Holiday Hand Up is a giving event to raise funds for families across our community struggling because of health issues or other trauma.

You can donate to up to 26 families fundraising this year now through December 15th.

Every donation is boosted in value by 20 percent up to $5,000 per family, so generosity makes a greater impact.

A new fundraiser from the program looks at the life of a father of two children recently diagnosed with brain cancer.

In May, 32-year-old Ben Gaboury of West Fargo told his wife he might have had a seizure overnight. When they went to the emergency room, an MRI showed he had a large brain tumor.

In July, Ben underwent a tumor resection confirming a Malignant Grade 3 Astrocytoma diagnosis. He spent weeks in Rochester where he had to re-learn how to do everyday tasks because of vision loss from the surgery.

He came back to Fargo to complete radiation at Roger Maris Cancer Center in September and his day-to-day recovery is still challenging.

“Day to day it varies. Like I said, Ben is sleeping more during the day, resting more, having more of that nausea. During the week, it’s better because our kids are at daycare and at school. Weekends can get kind of long, but we get through,” Ben’s wife Stephanie Gaboury said.

Ben does not qualify for disability and the loss of extra income hits harder on his family.

The Director at Lend A Hand Up says high medical costs can bring families down at this time of year.

“Medical expenses are the leading cause of bankruptcy and for families, this time of year especially with the holidays, there are some families with really tough choices. Should they fill their prescription? The fridge? The stockings? At this time of year, it’s just great that we can host an event like this and rally that community spirit to help neighbors who are struggling at this time of year,” Lend A Hand Up Director Jeana Peinovich said.

Ben will continue chemotherapy treatment for at least six more months. His wife, Stephanie says the situation has made her think about the little things in life more.

“The blessing that has come out of this is that it makes you step back and appreciate the things in life a little bit more. Something that is so routine like a birthday party or going to the pumpkin patch. They have a little bit more meaning and you appreciate it more,” Stephanie Gaboury said.

Ben’s fundraiser has raised more than $3,000 so far.

Stephanie says she would not be able to get through this without the community’s support.

If you want to donate to Ben’s or another fundraiser, click here.

Categories: Community, Health, Local News, North Dakota News