AHWAHNEE — A special fundraising dinner hosted by the nonprofit group Helping One Woman (HOW) will be held in honor of Marie Elizabeth Wynne on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at The Hitching Post in Ahwahnee, starting at 6 p.m.
“Marie moved to the mountain community [in] December of 1985 from Wisconsin,” say HOW organizers.
“She worked for Community Hospital Home Health Care doing home health for many years. Marie and her ex-husband Bill Wynne owned and operated Oakhurst Computers from 1990 to 2000.”
After leaving Community Hospital, HOW says, Marie worked in home health until she was forced to retire due to a diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. According to the Mayo Clinic, plasma cells help people fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. Multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications.
Following the diagnosis, Marie retired the day after her 69th birthday, in September of 2017.
“Since she was diagnosed, Marie has had to go to Kaiser three times a week,” says HOW. “With the help of family and friends she goes one day a week for blood work and two days a week for chemo. The doctors told her from the beginning it wouldn’t be good to drive. We all knew this was going to be a fight and we won’t give up.”
The next step for Marie is a stem cell replacement, organizers note, which will take place from late October through December. Marie is receiving strong chemo at Stanford and will have surgery to implant a stent to facilitate further treatment.
Following that procedure, “she goes back to Stanford and they will remove stem cells from her blood to keep frozen, and then [she will also undergo] blood transfusions to replace the blood from the stem cells. They will also be removing her chemo port. On November twenty-sixth, Marie starts the process of stem cell replacement which will take up to 30 days at Stanford.
“Since Marie has not been able to work, she has run into financial difficulties. In these struggling times she is supporting herself. Four days at Stanford and then four days at home, on and off for the next few months, is another obstacle that we will have to overcome. She has family and friends that are taking her to Stanford and staying with her during these tough times.”
HOW meets monthly to celebrate one deserving woman who receives the community’s support when she needs it the most. Those participating in the HOW benefit will offer $10 or more as a suggested donation for Marie and pay for their own dinner. Proceeds from the event go directly to Marie at the end of the evening.
Please RSVP to Tokens at (559) 658-5428 as soon as possible with the number in your party, or if you have any contributions or questions.
The Hitching Post is located at 42592 Highway 49 in Ahwahnee.
Recipients of HOW are always a woman who is going through a time of irreplaceable loss or who has been through a period of loss within the last 12 months. Irreplaceable loss is defined as a catastrophic loss which cannot be recovered.
HOW says that “one woman with $10 can buy another woman lunch. Ten women giving $10 can buy another woman’s groceries. One hundred women giving $10 can really make a difference in another woman’s life.”
If you know a woman who is going through a time of irreplaceable loss, come to the November HOW meeting and nominate her to be the next recipient. Recipients are chosen in a public drawing.
“Remember that by helping one woman, we help one family and one community.”