Benefit for Sheridan woman Saturday

Fredonia American Legion Post 59 is putting together a benefit for one of its own.

Denise Sealander has been bartending at the legion for 14 years, and in February found out she had colon cancer.

Sealander is also the auxiliary president at the Sheridan VFW.

Jane Bouquin and Deb Buckley have organized the benefit for her after arranging a yard sale on Aug. 23, which all went to helping Sealander with her medical bills.

The benefit will be held at the Fredonia American Legion Post 59, 156 E. Main St., Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $12 and include a chance for two to win $100 gift cards at Tops. A roast beef on weck dinner will be served with corn on the cob and baked beans. A kids menu will be provided as well.

Live music will be presented by a longtime friend of Sealander’s, Tom Benders, from 2 to 5 p.m.

“Businesses have been donating from Fredonia to Jamestown,” Bouquin said. “We are very grateful for that.”

Sealander had been complaining about back pain at work a few months back, and took a trip to the doctor. It was then she learned she had colon cancer, which is in both sides of her family. Bouquin and Buckley jumped into action for their friend.

“I would hope if I got like this, someone would do this for me,” Bouquin said. “A lot of people know her and come out to support her. She has a lot of good friends.”

Buckley added everyone who knows her is caring about what is happening to her, and they just want to help.

“This is a very lengthy, very hard process,” Buckley said. “Trying to get donations is terrible; there have been so many benefits lately. I think everyone is benefited out.”

Chemotherapy has been on Sealander’s mind lately.

“I am coming up on my ninth out of 12 treatments,” the 43-year-old said. “My doctor said I am too young to have colon cancer. I am telling all my cousins on both sides of my family to go get checked out.”

Sealander lives at home with her parents, and after having intense abdominal and back pain her mother took her to the hospital.

“I couldn’t move,” she said. “My parents took me to Buffalo General where they did an emergency surgery on me the next day. It was very unpleasant. I went back to the hospital two weeks later; got a blood clot in my leg, which moved to my lung and I almost died.”

Tom Benders will be coming back to his roots from Niagara Falls for his old childhood friend.

“We grew up together,” Sealander said. “He lived on Webster Road and we played at the playground in the park.”

Benders will do the live entertainment for free, and only asked for a hot meal and a case of beer.

Sealander hopes to be done with chemotherapy in October.

“I have to get a new surgeon from Buffalo,” she said. “They have to do a colonoscopy to make sure they got all the cancer.”

Several members of her family have had or have cancer.

“It is a rough ordeal for the whole family,” Sealander said.