It began with a group of dads wondering how they would cope.
Concern for a colleague and her family has grown beards and a silent auction to be held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15 at the Mall at Piccadilly.
“We laugh at Movember because anyone can grow a corny moustache, but it takes real dedication to grow a big hairy beard,” laughs Brent Dodge, who works at the Salmon Arm Mental Health and Substance Use office.
Dodge says he and eight other men employed at Mental Health and Environmental Health offices in Salmon Arm decided to one-up Movember to try and help the family of Brent and Ruth Pearce.
Brent is fighting pseudomyxoma, a rare form of cancer, secondary to appendix cancer.
Brent and his family continue to fight for his life and the bills continue to mount.
Ostomy supplies alone cost $25 a day – that’s more than $9,000 a year – with a number of other supplies needed to keep Pearce alive.
Also a necessity are the regular trips to Calgary for treatment.
“She’s so shy, she doesn’t want to make a big deal, doesn’t ask for anything,” says Dodge of co-worker Ruth, who didn’t share her story until he asked her. “I just said ‘this is sad man,’ as a dad trying to stay positive – and that’s how it all started.”
Other members of the Beards for Brent crew include David Parmenter, Neal Green, Brian Shantz, Darren Gulka, Brian Dockrill, Ivor Norlin, Brett Ginter and Lucas Burton.
Dodge says local businesses have been very generous, but the men are still looking for items for the silent auction that runs this weekend
“You can always tell when women are not involved,” laughs Dodge of the men’s last-minute plea for auction items, which can be delivered, until Friday afternoon, to the Mental Health office at the corner of Hudson Avenue and Fourth Street NE – across from Tim Hortons.
“Of course, money is always welcome, says Dodge, noting that a trust account set up in August 2011, following a story about the couple in the Observer remains active.
Donations can be made directly to the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union – Account #1518554 in trust for Brent Pearce and Family. As well, doing a little Christmas shopping by bidding on the silent auction will support the Pearce family.