by Judy Theuer
A few years ago, some friends and I heard about a woman in our neighborhood who had a devastating and fast-growing cancer. Surgery could remove the cancer, but recovery would take a long time. Because her internal organs would be affected, she would not be able to work or care for herself for quite a while.
The woman, Debbie, had grown up in the area and did housekeeping and odd jobs for private individuals and businesses. She had no insurance — and no income if she could not work. A few of us decided to have a fundraising party for her. We only had a few weeks before her surgery was scheduled, so all the arrangements were made in haste.
We made up some flyers and indicated that the party had a ten dollar admission, all of it going to Debbie, whose nickname is “Li’l Bit” (“Little Bit”). The top of the flyer read “Help A Li’l Bit” and at the end it listed two contact numbers; mine and my friend’s. I had only met Debbie two or three times and I don’t think my friend had met her at all, so we didn’t give our names.
Although I don’t have a bike, I hang out with mostly bikers and knew Debbie through bikers, so aside from every store window in town, we left flyers at all the biker bars nearby (Damascus is a dry town). We asked every business in a ten mile radius for door prizes, and in less than two weeks had more than a thousand dollars in door prizes alone!
The Tradesmen, a local motorcycle club, heard about our party and donated $100, and asked most of their members to come, each paying the cover as well. Word got out fast. The party was going to be a huge success, we were certain.
A few days before the party, I got a call from Debbie. She told me she had stopped in for a sandwich at one of the bars and had seen the headline on a flyer and read “Help A Li’l Bit.” Without her glasses, she wasn’t able to read the rest.
Even though she was facing life-changing surgery and had absolutely no resources, she figured she might be able to “help a little bit,” so she went out to her truck and got her glasses to read the rest of the flyer. She had no idea she was the Li’l Bit who would be helped. Needless to say, she was in tears when she called me.
I’m glad to say that I saw her a few weeks ago; she is doing very well and even looks better than before her surgery! I will never get over the generosity of this tiny woman. She was going to offer whatever she could and even went out of her way to find out how she could help.