Sioux Falls, SD
Pam Mathison has been a faithful runner and overall healthy person for most of her life.
In October 2010, she went in for a routine checkup on her 50th birthday. She'd noticed a little pain in her side when she went running, so her doctors suggested a colonoscopy.
"I didn't have any symptoms so I said, 'I don't really think I need a colonoscopy.' And so unfortunately, I cancelled the appointment. And my husband and I went on vacation," Pam said.
When she got back, she decided to finally get the test done. That's when doctors discovered colon cancer and suggested more testing.
"So we had a PET scan and that's where we found out that it had all metastasized to my liver. And so my 98 percent survival rate went down to two percent survival rate," Pam said.
Pam decided she was going to fight back.
"I've said all along, it's in the hands of my Lord Jesus Christ and I just have fought it the whole way. Since I was first diagnosed, I've done 50 rounds of chemo. And I will start 51 on Sunday," Pam said.
She isn't the only one in this fight. Her husband Steve and their two sons, Ben and Robert, are right by her side. And so are her friends.
"It basically hits you like a ton of bricks. You think everything is fine, then the next thing you know a life can end," Pam's husband Steve Mathison said.
"She's a wonderful person. I've known her for 28 years. And she's always the first one to jump in and help somebody else. So it's time to help her," event organizer Janelle Songstad said.
They're doing that this weekend through a raffle and auction. They're not sure how much the benefit will raise, but just seeing the community support is priceless to the woman battling for her life.
"It's overwhelming. Yes, they have worked very hard and to help me now with this new treatment, to help with the financial end of it. Just worked very hard and I'm extremely, extremely grateful. To all of them," Pam said.
Pam's Love Benefit will be this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at East Side Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. If you can't make it to the event, you can stop by any Wells Fargo location and donate to Pam Mathison's Love Benefit.