Family, friends and community members came together in Andreas over the weekend in support of a New Ringgold man battling cancer.
Christian Deem, 34, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in March and then suffered an infection after being admitted to Lehigh Valley Hospital. The infection traveled through his entire body, compromising his kidney. The ordeal has drained both Deem and his family. The financial stress of being unable to work, compounded by extraordinary medical bills and the costs of repeated trips to the hospital, have combined to further burden the family.
After hearing this, family, friends and church members jumped together in strong support by organizing an eventful fundraiser to help Deem defray his medical bills. The festive event, called Chrisapalooza, and held at the Andreas Sporting Club, consisted of games, duck race, 75-mile bike ride, Chinese auction, bands, door prizes, Hawaiian-style pig roast and so on.
Even though Deem had surgery to remove the cancer, doctors found the disease had spread; resulting in a softball-sized tumor at the top of his kidney. Deem is currently undergoing chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, and has needed blood transfusions to stabilize his blood count. Family members say that doctors are closely monitoring Deem's kidneys, which are sensitive to chemotherapy.
In addition to helping defray the costs of Deems medical care, his family and friends held the event to give the friends and family a chance to show their love and support of Chris during his ordeal.
A number of bands also donated their services, to include County Line, DJ Juice, Homespun, The Brand, Butch-Steve-Jack, Chris and Chris, Lizard Creek and so on.
Event coordinators Angela Stahler and Krissy Schellhammer, both relatives of Christian, pointed out their appreciation to all volunteers, sponsors, organizations and community members who all came out in support of Christian.
"The event was very successful," said Stahler. "It was a wonderful day of family and community coming together for a great cause."
Family members have established a Facebook page for the cause. Donations are still being accepted via Facebook or by calling (570) 225-8575 or (570) 778-1439.