“No, Mommy, no,” Bridget cried to her mom, Jamie Korn, who delivered the life-altering news that the bone infection that they had been praying for was really cancer. Having raised over $20,000 the previous year to help people fight the disease, 6-year-old Bridget understood what cancer meant, and she was scared.
It was a typical day on the soccer field. Bridget was dealt a kick below the shin, and her reaction, although extreme, was not highly unusual for a player in her league. The incident seemed ordinary enough that her mom encouraged her to get back in the game. This day would mark the last time that Jamie would see her daughter walk with ease on her own two legs.
At the next practice, Bridget was galloping, not running. Knowing that something was wrong, the mother and daughter quickly went to the doctor. Due to the swelling, an X-ray was taken. The results of the X-ray led to an MRI, the MRI to a biopsy. Within two weeks of the soccer game, Bridget was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
Leaving her dad and big brother behind in Arizona, Bridget moved with her mom to Memphis, TN, to begin 40 weeks of treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. After multiple rounds of chemotherapy and, ultimately, amputation of her right leg, Jamie and Bridget began dreaming of life after cancer, life after the loss of a limb.
Being 1,500 miles away, Phoenix Cancer Support Network (PCSN) wasn’t able to provide Jamie and Bridget the more routine services of transportation to medical appointments, coordinating records, arranging meals, child and pet care, or taking care of the home. They were, however, a tireless shoulder, an invaluable ear. With unrelenting inspiration from her little sister, Annie, who lost her battle to bone cancer in 2005, founder and CEO of PCSN Jenny Martin and her team walked with the Korns through an overwhelming diagnosis and treatment.
While Jamie and Bridget were in Tennessee, the family in Arizona coordinated a move, choosing a home that would allow Bridget easier access. PCSN had someone on the phone within an hour when questions arose regarding the necessary bathroom remodel. Additionally, after hearing the details of Bridget’s dream bedroom, PCSN built out the envisioned pink and turquoise space, complete with unicorns and a grand chandelier.
On any given week, PCSN never knows how many new clients will come to them…5, 0, 10. Working with every oncology practice in Arizona, one thing is for sure: The need is outpacing the funding. In order to fill in the gaps for cancer patients and their families, PCSN has hosted various events over their three years.
Their first Friendraiser was held in the living room of Dr. Jeffrey Weber, father of Jenny Martin and Annie Weber. In year two, the event was hosted in the home of a family friend. This year’s gala brought over 200 attendees to Chateau Luxe for an evening of cocktails, entertainment, dinner, presentations, silent and live auctions, and community.
The venue, food, and beverages for the evening were all donated by Deepika Bhalla, owner of Chateau Luxe, to honor the late Dr. Manohar Singh, a pioneer of orthodontics in India who recently passed from prostate cancer. Dr. Singh’s grandchildren spoke on behalf of the family and were presented with an award for their generosity and service.
Consistent with the fact that no one with PCSN is paid for their work, cancer survivor and media entrepreneur Dave Pratt volunteered as the emcee for the event. He also donated funds for the AV system and gave $500 to borrow the tie of one of the grandsons. Regarding his absent accessory, Pratt joked, “My wife is out of town.”
Upcoming PCSN events: December 3, 2019: Giving Tuesday Sponsor a treatment package for a community member going through chemotherapy – comfy blanket, water bottle, tote bag, lip balm and T-shirt – to be delivered to cancer treatment centers throughout the Valley.
December 15, 2019: Second Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament at Raven Golf Club: Foursomes and sponsor packages will be available. All info can be found at www.pcsnwtork.org or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org