Gayle’s Golden Gala. From Twitter With Love.

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A tweet was posted in the summer of 2016 by a hopeful and enthusiastic fan of The Breakfast Pig – A restaurant located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. In the tweet, the tweeter stated that she couldn’t wait to get home and finally be able to eat at The Breakfast Pig. The tweet was from Gayle Katzenback, a Sault native, who, at the age of 19, was looking forward to getting on with life.

“Gayle was going through (cancer) treatments, and after that, when she thought she had received a clean bill of health, she tweeted out that she couldn’t wait to get home so she could eat at our restaurant. This was in summer (2016).”  shared Angela Caputo, owner/operator of The Breakfast Pig located at the bottom of Bruce Hill (at Grosvenor Ave.).

“We got in touch with Gayle, and invited her to come into the restaurant for a free meal – We were so happy that she had been declared cancer free.” shared Caputo.

“Shortly after that, she went in for a routine scan a few months later and found out that she was full of cancer. – on her liver – on her lymph nodes – lungs and her cervical spine. The doctors gave her 6 months to live and told her and her family that there was nothing they could do.” Said Caputo. “It was absolutely devastating. Her family then researched treatments, and found a private clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. The doctor there offered Gayle a different treatment – a more naturopathic treatment. Because it is an unconventional treatment, none of her medical bills are covered by health insurance – and they are steep.”

Caputo reached out to Gayle and her family about hosting a fundraising event, and Gayle’s Golden Gala was born. Gayle’s mother is Audrey Overman and her father is Jason Katzenback. Caputo told SaultOnline that the response to Gayle’s Golden Gala has been overwhelming.

“When I learned about what Gayle and her family were going through and the financial burden this has put on them, I thought that, this kid shouldn’t have to be worrying about anything except getting better. Gayle just turned 20 years old a few days ago. She was only 18 when she was diagnosed while she was a student at The University of Ottawa. Gayle’s original diagnosis was made when she was visiting her father in Texas, U.S.A. They (doctors) are treating it as a childhood cancer. A rare form of cancer – Ewing’s Sarcoma – that has only been diagnosed 30 times in the whole world.” said Caputo.

‘In Dec 23, 2015 at the age of 18, Gayle began 9 months of 5 different chemo-therapies and 41 rounds of radiation. In December of 2016, after suffering through all the grueling treatments, Gayle’s cancer had spread throughout her body. The doctors gave her 6 months to live and told her there was nothing else that could be done.

Dr. Thomas Incledon, a Human Health and Biomolecular specialist based in Phoenix Arizona, was found to have had success in treating other rare terminal cancers and he uses a multi-intervention approach.

Gayle is in the battle of a lifetime –  this warrior is in this to win it, not only for herself but to find a cure and raise awareness for all forms of childhood cancer. To date, no one has successfully treated this specific form of cancer, but Dr. Tom Incledon is confident that Gayle can beat this using  multiple approaches including photodynamic, sonodynamic, magnetic field and shockwave therapies, all while starving cancer cells of glucose, blood supply and boosting the immune system.

This treatment is groundbreaking, but extremely expensive and is not covered by health insurance.’

Gayle’s Golden Gala will take place March 31st, 2017 at The Machine Shop in what promises to be a night to remember. Attendees are asked to dress in semi-formal wear, using colours of gold – or black with gold accents – to represent Childhood Cancer, which is identified by the colour gold.

“There is a tremendous line-up of live music already confirmed, including ‘The Crossroad Magdalenes’, ‘Sometimes Ange’, ‘Frank & Jay (Case) & Jillian Katzenback. The Gala will be Emceed by local entertainer and illusionist Ryan McFarling.” said Caputo

There is a growing list of silent auction items, including a fly-in-fishing trip and a 2 day ‘stay-cation’ at the Quality Inn.

“We’ve had a huge outpouring of donations.” shared Caputo.

Gayle’s Golden Gala takes place at the Machine Shop, Friday, March 31 7 PM – 1 AM. Tickets are available at the Breakfast Pig and are $50.00.  Caputo told SaultOnline she will deliver tickets to folks, as well as pick up any community donations.

You can find the event on Facebook here: facebook.com

Below are excerpts from Gayle Katzenback’s GoFundMePage – Created February 8, 2017.

In her own words ….

‘In December 2015 I was diagnosed with a very rare childhood cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. Not understanding where to turn, we (my parents and I) trusted in the conventional medical system of chemotherapy and radiation. 

Our doctors constantly told us that this was a very treatable disease and so with that mindset, we felt confident to trust in the physicians and the medical system. 

I was willing to endure the constant pain, anxiety, nausea and discomfort these treatments caused and my parents were more than willing to spend the thousands upon thousands of dollars in medical bills and travel expenses. This was because we trusted in the health care system and believed this was the best way to ensure that I live past my 19th birthday.

That, however, all changed at the beginning of December 2016. Having spent the entire year putting faith in what our doctors told us and believing we were doing the right thing, I found out that my cancer had spread throughout my body. To make matters worse, not only had the treatments not worked but I was told I now only had about six months to live, and the medical system was no longer able to do anything for me.

After the initial shock of the news had started to ease up, my parents looked at each other and decided that six months to live was not an option, and if the conventional medical system was giving up on us, then they needed to look elsewhere.

Spending countless hours researching numerous alternative health options, and specialists, we decided to work with an incredible specialist out of Phoenix Arizona, and a plan started to come together.

Within 7 days of getting the news that I had 6 months to live, we were on a plane heading to Phoenix, with a renewed sense of hope.

I am so grateful for so much and especially for the fact that my parents were able to have enough savings that they could step away from their business for a full year to focus on my sister and me.

Sadly, however, now that we have gone the alternative medical route, the costs of treatments have dramatically increased because insurance will not help out at all. In December alone, my treatments and travel cost almost $80,000!

Thankfully, as we continue to progress and pinpoint more accurately on the what’s working best for me, the costs are coming down, but are still very high. For example, just to be able to get the vitamin C infusions of 100grams, three times a week is over $14,000 a month.

 I have been overwhelmed with prayers and encouragement from so many people, and please believe me when I say thank you for anything you can give, whether it be a financial donation or just being able to share this (GoFundMe) page with others.’ GofundMe page is  HERE

Gayle Katzenback’s GoFundMe campaign has raised $55,611 of the $100,000 goal as of March 10th, 2017. With the fundraising event, Gayle’s Golden Gala, she is sure to meet or exceed that goal. The entire team here at Superior Media / SaultOnline wishes Gayle, her family and friends every success as they support her along this pathway to health. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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Lynne Brown
Algoma writer, enjoys roadtrips. Has written for special editions #TBay #ChronicleJournal. In the late 80’s, Lynne worked for #AutoTrader, in rural Southwestern Ont. Trudging through farmers’ fields for a picture of a 56 Dodge Custom Royale was considered a very good day. Special interests include issues relating to faith, rural, elders, seniors, travel, history, community development. Motto: #whattheworldneedsnowislovesweetlove @dlynnebrown