Updated: 9/29 6:08 pm
Victoria (KAVU) - Deanna Heinold was diagnosed with oral cancer back in January and she's been battling the disease ever since. Her sister, Jackie Williams said, “She has stage four oral cancer and once you’re diagnosed it is a very, very strong cancer.”
Luckily Heinold had a strong support system to help her in her fight. Evidenced on Sunday when more than 400 people showed up to Club Westerner to support her Fight for Life Benefit.
The benefit was hosted by the Fight for Sam Foundation, who started off with helping one cancer victim, but has now helped dozens. The committee has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars between all victims.
Heinold’s Cousin Tracy Lopez, who said, “We are more like sisters and with cancer it not only affects the person, but everybody; her family and her friends there's good days and bad days.”
The hope is to minimize the bad days and so far there have been many. Doctors had to perform surgery on Heinold's face using skin-grafts to try and rebuild what the cancer forced them to cut out. The process was heartbreaking for everyone, especially for her daughter.
“It’s hard it's really hard just seeing her every day and knowing she's in a lot of pain and not being able to do anything about it,” said Stephaine Heinold.
Stephaine was overwhelmed with the amount of people who showed up in support of her mother and by the end of it all they raised more than forty-thousand dollars.