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Benefit set to help woman fight cancer

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

STERLING – A fundraiser to help a local Army veteran combat brain cancer will be from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Cochran’s Pub, 13464 Galt Road.

Rhonda Howard Schweska grew up in Sterling and served during Operation Desert Storm. Her children, Carlye and Zach, spent their junior and high school years in the Chadwick-Milledgeville School District.

On Jan. 9, Rhonda was treated for a seizure, and Rockford Memorial Hospital confirmed she had a malignant tumor putting pressure on her brain. Surgery was performed to remove the tumor, which was diagnosed as glioblastoma multiforme, a rapid-growing and aggressive cancer.

Schweska was left with severe weakness and paralysis on her right side. She also faces difficulty reading, writing, saying what she means to say, and swallowing. Schweska faces in-patient rehabilitation and cancer treatment, which will be covered by Medicaid. Sunday’s proceeds will go toward home health care costs not covered by insurance. Schweska has two adult children, Carlye and Zach, and two grandchildren.

“She’s in Carbondale with her daughter,” said Tammy Hayen, a friend of Schweskas.

There will be no cost to attend the benefit. Barbecue meals will be sold for a donation. A raffle for gift certificates and other items will cost $1 per ticket, $5 for six, or $10 for an armlength. A silent auction will take place, with three baskets from Massage Works in Sterling, a photograph from the Chicago Bears, and other items.

Donations may be made out to the Rhonda Schweska Benefit, care of Milledgeville State Bank, 451 N. Main Ave. For more information, call Hayen at 815-225-5622 and leave a message.

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