REYNOLDSVILLE — A day of fundraisers next month will help support a hardworking family man and his loved ones during a difficult time.
Two benefits, a spaghetti dinner at 11 a.m. and a “Sip ‘n Paint” at 3 p.m., will be held at the Bellamauro Social Hall on Reynoldsville Falls Creek Road on March 10. Proceeds will benefit the Fike family.
This is Bill Fike’s third battle with cancer, and the second in a year, said his daughter Tammy Bukousky. He’s also facing medical bills from his treatments last spring, and 20-percent deductibles.
Fike was born in Sykesville, and his family still lives there, Bukousky said. The family currently lives on a DuBois farm. Fike has been married to his wife, Florence, for 49 years in June. He’s also been president of the Grace United Methodist Church trustees for several years.
“He grew up in that church — he still sits in the same spot my grandmother sat in, and she’s has been gone for 56 years,” Bukousky said.
Fike’s first diagnosis of colorectal cancer was in 2008. That was defeated by surgery and chemotherapy, Bukousky said, but in the winter of 2016 he was diagnosed with esophageal and lung cancer.
Fike is “one of less than five percent of cancer victims” suffering from two cancers different from one another, and different from his first diagnosis, too, Bukousky said.
Although his scans in September of last year were cancer-free, Fike went to the emergency room for what he thought was a pulled hamstring in November, and doctors found a lump on his spine, Bukousky said. Further tests showed the cancer was also on his spinal column, in his brain, neck-lymph gland and possibly the lung and kidney.
“He has had radiation for the cancer in his back, brain and neck,” she said. “Currently, he needs to increase his strength to continue with some type of treatment, which will be determined based on his health.”
The numerous diagnosis and treatments were hard enough on the Fikes, but in June of last year, Fike’s wife fell and was life-flighted to Danville, suffering from a broken pelvis. She spent weeks in rehab in order to walk again.
Family, friends and community members are gathering around Fike and his loved ones. He has four children, nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren wanting to see him get better.
Beth Lanzoni, a cousin of Bukousky’s, will be teaching the Sip ‘n Paint portion of the fundraiser, Bukousky said.
The planned picture is “a cabin in the woods” — stemming from a family memory. Since 1976, they have rented cabins and camped at Clear Creek State Park in Sigel each year.
Volunteers willing to help serve guests at the dinner would be greatly appreciated, Bukousky said, so people don’t have to wait in a line.
The Bellamauro Social Hall is located at 1017 Reynoldsville Falls Creek Road. Prices are $8 for the spaghetti dinner, $20 for the Sip ‘n Paint or $25 for both.
Donations can also be sent to 1221 Kriner Road in DuBois, or “All About Grace” — a local group that helps plan and stage benefits for people in need — and marked for Bill Fike.
“Anyone who knows my dad knows he would give the shirt off his back to help someone,” Bukousky said. “I pray that people will help him now, and make this part of his life a little easier to deal with.”