Terry Dagg has spent the last few months off work, battling Stage 1 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. On Sunday afternoon, May 4, at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 20 hall in Taber, her daughter Misty Lutz held a fundraiser to help her out financially. But more importantly, she wanted to do something to show her mom how much everyone cares and is rooting for her as she battles her disease.
“Thank you so much for coming here and supporting my mom,” Lutz said to a crowded Legion hall, wiping away tears as she spoke.
“It’s just overwhelming,” said Dagg, noting she had been emotional for days before the event over the support and kindness shown by her daughter and the community.
“You don’t really realize how much you mean to people until something like this happens,” she added.
The day involved door prizes, a barbecue lunch donated by local businesses, a silent auction featuring almost 100 items from local donors, and an opportunity to make direct donations in support of Dagg’s cancer fight. Seven people also shaved their heads, including Lutz, and Amber Mitchell, a 14-year-old W.R. Myers Student who shaved more than 10 inches of hair off to be donated, and who cried as Lutz removed her locks with a pair of scissors.
Among the other participants who lost hair at the event were Sean Evans, Ryan Broadfoot, Isobel Lawrence, Lindsey Baceda, and Adyson Baceda. In all, the event raised $7,407.25 from the auction and barbecue, with another $800 directly donated to the cause.
The money will go to help Dagg pay her bills while she’s off work, and to cover expenses while she’s in Calgary receiving treatments.
“I just wanted to make things as easy for her as I could,” said Lutz.
She added it’s important when life-altering events happen to people in the community that everyone makes an effort to come together.
“Everyone in the community has their struggles,” she said. In an effort to pay the goodwill forward, Lutz said money raised from all the bottles and cans as well as a donation from the event were going to be donated to two other people in the community who are currently in need of help.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) is a type of blood cancer which stems from the white blood cells in a person’s body. Dagg’s cancer is Stage 1, meaning it is localized and is being treated with chemotherapy and radiation.
Dagg said she found a lump in her breast in mid-January which sparked a number of tests to find the cancer. Following a test on her bone marrow, she was informed by doctors it wasn’t breast cancer she was fighting, but NHL.
“I found it early,” Dagg said, noting the early detection was important in the amount and length of chemotherapy and radiation she needs.
“It’s a journey now, just getting better,” she added. “I will survive.”