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Benefit Friday for local family at West Fargo VFW

The entire Jameson family is excited about the Friday night benefit and will be there to visit with all those attending. Pictured are: (back) Weston and Lukas and (front) Emma, Sadie, Ruthe, and Ilsa. David Samson / Forum Communications Co.

A special benefit event for the Drew and Kim Jameson family will take place Friday, April 27, 4 to 8 p.m., at the West Fargo VFW, 308 Sheyenne Street.

Drew has been battling colorectal cancer for the past year and received the diagnosis it had spread to his liver.

Both Drew and Kim are graduates of West Fargo High School, 1973 and 1978 respectively. The family makes their home at Sheldon. Drew is employed by Archer Daniel Midland (ADM), a Sunflower Seed Crushing Plant at Enderlin where he works in the oil refinery. Kim is a stay-at-home mom who home schools their six children, four of which are still students. Lukas, the oldest, is employed in the Enderlin/Sheldon area doing construction/carpentry work; Ilsa, graduated last summer and is pursuing an art career, as well as living at home and helping out; while, Emma, 16, Weston, 15, Ruthe, 11, and Sadie, 9, continue their schooling.

Drew was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in April of 2011. His treatment included radiation and chemotherapy followed by surgery in mid-September, and six more weeks of chemotherapy. A scan of his blood work at that time revealed he was doing well but pet scans later revealed spots on his liver and eventually the liver cancer diagnosis. He had his last chemo the beginning of March and four weeks later liver surgery, resulting in the removal of growths and the reversal of a temporary ileostomy.

Just recently home from the hospital, Drew will be recuperating for at least six weeks, and according to Kim, "doing really well. He had the surgery and didn't eat for seven days so we are fixing his favorite foods."

Buoyed and energized by their faith, Kim said the family is "praying to the one that helps people" on a constant basis in their quest to completely heal both physically and emotionally from the experience.

Throughout the ordeal Kim said that Drew's employer ADM, where he has been employed almost nine years, "has been wonderful. They have really helped him go on light duty and get back as soon as he can. He's worked as much as he can; only missing a couple of days being sick, sick. It is unbelievable, they have been so good to him. There has not been a time they haven't accommodated him.

"When someone gets cancer it's a real wake-up call," Kim acknowledged. "And there is no doubt, things have definitely changed, but when a man goes through chemo for a year and still is allowed to work, we really feel blessed. Life is good, and we are going to live each day to the fullest and savor every happy moment we can. It's also made up more aware of all that we have and what we need to be thankful for. Like Drew said recently "It's easy to have faith when you don't need it."

Moving forward, no matter what each new day holds in store, Kim said the Jameson family will be practicing their faith and always counting their blessings. "Life every day is good. Drew is good, he's working, and yes, he had some issues, but so do many other people. Everyone has been so good to us. What we are going through is minor compared to a lot of other people."

Humbled by the outpouring of support that has been extended to them by family and friends and very appreciative for the upcoming Friday night benefit, Drew, Kim and family will be in attendance to convey their gratitude. "We are so thankful. Girls I graduated with from high school, some that I don't see regularly, are coordinating it, and that is really overwhelming.

"All the help is really something else, and really makes a difference in your life. We've been overwhelmed with love and encouragement. The timing has been so incredible. Whenever we've needed something it has just somehow appeared. God has shown himself faithful the whole time. And when we get through this we are going to give as much as we possibly can to others as a way of playing-it-back," Kim asserted.

The benefit will feature a meal and silent auction from 4 to 8 p.m. Organizers will be serving soup and sandwiches, chips, dessert, coffee and lemonade, all for a freewill donation. A cash bar will also be available.

Silent auction items will include: numerous restaurant certificates, golf packages, hand-made items, Red Hawks tickets, Chanhassen tickets, WE Fest and Moondance tickets, numerous Bison Championship items, an autographed Minnesota Twins Baseball and UND Sioux hockey stick, and much more.

A raffle drawing will be conducted at 9 p.m. for such items as: guns, Bison tickets, a four-burner gas grill, a one-night stay in a whirlpool suite at the Kelly Inn, a $100 gift card to Maxwell's Restaurant and Bar, along with a variety of others items.

Live music will follow by the Fat Daddies.

Anyone who is unable to attend the benefit but would like to contribute can do so by mailing a donation to: First State Bank of North Dakota, Jameson Benefit, PO Box 115, Enderlin, N.D. 58027 or by phone at 701-437-2100.

Supplemental funding will also be provided by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Sargeant/Ransom County Chapter.