On February 18th, at the American Legion in Sparta, a benefit was being held for Amy (Jaeger) Davis. The event officially ran from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., but the actual preparation time took nearly five months. There was a chicken-Q, from the infamous Rooster Andy’s, out of La Crosse. There was a silent auction, tip boards, wine raffle, 50/50 wingspan raffle and poster boards for big prizes. So many people showed up that the parking was more than the Legion’s lot could bear; being bested only by the bursting energies of goodwill and love, which engulfed the building itself.
Amy and her husband, Dale mingled as much as they could, but with so many people attending, it proved a difficult feat. “You can’t wrap your head around it,” Dale Davis said. “You walk in, and you see all these people with things they have made or donated, all to help out Amy.”
Amy jumped in, adding to Dale’s train of thought, “How far they came, they really went out of their way… it is such an incredible feeling. I wish I could see everybody and talk to every single person. It is an adjustment [for me], being the center of attention like this. This is all so heartwarming, and it is really going to give me the extra push, to keep going in the coming days and years.”
Dale and Amy recalled how the benefit originally found its traction and gained momentum. “My sister, Jacki Jaeger, had proposed the idea to us, to see if we would be comfortable with it,” Amy explained. “Then a good family friend, Kim Kerska, basically a sister also, took the reins, alongside Jacki, and they ran with it. Everybody did a great job, but they were the ring leaders. Kim is the one talking right now.” At that moment, Kerska was reading the name of another winner in the raffle, to much clapping and excited yells.
“Four and a half months ago, family and friends turned their lives over to us, in making this benefit happen. They really started driving this forward,” said Amy and Dale, interchangeably. “There were over 200 baskets donated, from far and wide. Some even came from people we have never met. They just saw the advertisement [for the benefit] and donated.” It would be difficult for the Herald to attribute any of the quotes directly to either Amy or Dale, as they answered bits and pieces of the questions posed, together.
From Amy, Dale and Syd Davis
Amy’s battle started in August of 2018, when she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. Two months later, she was also diagnosed with separate thyroid cancer. Amy went through a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and radioactive iodine treatments. We were blessed with three years of cancer remission. Unfortunately, in July of 2022, the cancer returned as stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, showing up in her vertebral column, hips, skull and liver, and now, brain.
She has gone through chemotherapy infusion treatments which proved to be quite effective. Due to side effects, treatments switched to hormone therapy. This treatment has been shown to provide more longevity and very few side effects. Unfortunately, after a month, it didn’t work and it was stopped. Because of this, the cancer advanced slightly in its severity in that short time. The cancer increased in size on her skull and has metastasized into a small area of Amy’s brain. Because the hormone therapy failed, she was started on a chemotherapy pill that requires her to take five pills, twice a day. Amy is on her second round of the chemotherapy pill, which is two weeks on, followed by one week off, for her body to recover. She will undergo an MRI at the end of this next round of treatment, to determine whether or not the chemotherapy pill is working. Her treatment will continue on, or be changed, depending on the results of that MRI. Amy also needs two different types of radiation therapy to treat the cancer in her skull and her brain, at some juncture.
The benefit event held on Saturday, February 18th, at the American Legion in Sparta, was an enormous success, beyond all hope & imagination! The outpouring of love & support was truly amazing. Alone, there were 200 silent auction basket donations, from all over. So many fun things were happening at the same time. Thanks to anyone who donated or supported in ANY way. The organizers worked beyond tirelessly, for four and a half months, to make this the success that it was and the lifeline our family needed! We want to thank all the volunteers that also helped make the day a success & run so smoothly. We hope and believe all who came, enjoyed the event. I know we did, seeing so many great people & supporters & getting to visit with so many of you! If we did not get a chance to speak with you, please know we saw many of you & could feel the huge presence of love, like a hug around us!
Special thanks to the team, led by Kim Kerska and Jacki Jaeger, the super-human captains of the ship! In addition, among so many, were Joan Jenkins, Lindsey Jenkins, Patti and Randy Domnie … we wish we could name everyone here, because there were many, you know who you are and how much you are appreciated for your integral part, as well.
Thanks, blessings, and love to all who came & those who supported us in any way! Love the prayers … please keep them coming.
-Dale, Amy, and Syd Davis
There is a GoFundMe account set up if you are interested in supporting the family. https://gofund.me/ad92ce42
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