Norma Smith

Agassiz business owner facing the fight of a lifetime

Friends fundraising to help Norma Smith battle cancer and leukemia

Norma Smith is not having a good year. Come to think of it, the year before that wasn’t her favourite either.

Smith, an Agassiz resident and business owner, was in a car accident two years ago.

“It turned my whole life upside down,” she says.

She pushed herself to get back to work. But months after the car crash, she was still feeling tired. Finally, last June, she went back to her doctor to see what was going on.

She was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Being self-employed, she felt she couldn’t take time off her work. So she kept her business, Body Balance Therapies, operating as she was able. She managed to keep going. Plus, she says, keeping her business open was like “a little carrot to keep me coming back.”

Then things got really bad. This past January, doctors found a five centimetre tumour on her lung. Cancer.

She’s had some biopsies and discoveries about the cancer. She had surgery in May, with part of her lung removed. Now, she faces some tough decisions in regards to her treatment, her business and her financial situation.

“I’m still in the process of making these big decisions,” says Smith, reduced to tears at the enormity of it all.

But through it all, there has been good.

“I’ve been overwhelmed with people that have been helping me,” says Smith. “This is a great community.”

She has had clients and friends bring her groceries, walk her dog, drive her to appointments in Abbotsford and Vancouver and caring people asking how they can help.

Two friends, Fran Froelich and Jacki Meisner, have organized a fundraiser for Smith to assist in the steep financial burden. They have canvased the community for gift baskets, on display at Jacki’s Hair Salon. Gift baskets include gift certificates for local restaurants and businesses, bottles of wine, themed baskets and more. You can go in any time the salon is open to buy tickets for the baskets or bid on silent auction items.

Then on June 23, the pair will be hosting a 50 / 50 draw and announcing basket and silent auction item winners. They are still gathering silent auction items and welcome more donations. One of the highlighted silent auction items is a gift certificate for a stay at Pretty Estates in Harrison Mills.

For more information, phone Fran at 604-796-2465, or drop in to Jacki’s Hair Salon at 7092 Pioneer Ave. or call her at 604-796-1068.

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