100620-du-cancer auction

A gift basket full of Halloween-themed items from small business Marshmellow Momma that was auctioned off during a fundraiser for Junction City woman and cancer patient Angela Day. The fundraiser auction raised more than $5,000 for Day's cancer treatments.

Angela Day has been given one year to live. She has stage four cancer.

She also has a group of friends who would do just about anything for her and a community that cares.

Medical bills have been piling up for Day as she continues to fight for her life, trying treatment after treatment.

Desiree Granstra, who met Day via social media, helped Day organize the auction, along with a handful of other friends.

Granstra operates her own business out of her home where she creates care packages. Day contacted her about the possibility of donating a care package to her fundraiser auction.

The event took place over Facebook over the course of a few days last week and raised roughly $5,500 after an initial count. Donations are still coming in. The goal is $10,000.

The group of friends started reaching out to businesses for auction items Monday for the auction to start on Thursday. The event ended over the weekend.

“It was such an extreme turnaround,” Granstra said.

She used her community contacts to organize donations from both Junction City and Manhattan businesses and grow the event. She quickly received donations from multiple of local businesses. Interest in the auction grew online as word spread about the fundraiser.

“I think it was amazing,” Granstra said. “I didn’t really know where this was going to go initially. So I’m glad to see so many that came.”

Friend Nancy Wilson who participated in the fundraiser says they started planning the auction a week before it happened with the hope that it would include about 10 gift baskets of goods. It quickly blossomed.

“It just snowballed,” Wilson said.

She started the auction by proposing a fundraiser. She felt a Facebook auction would be better than simply soliciting cash donations and others — including Granstra after she joined the effort — built upon that idea.

“I feel that if we can do better, then let’s do better,” Granstra said. “And I felt we could do way better than 10 baskets. Let’s go as far as we can go.”

“We just kind of came together,” Wilson said. “We just worked together to make it happen. It was just too much for one person to handle. And it was all done, I believe, within a week. It was done in a week including the auction being held over four days. So everything was put together in a matter of a few days.”

There were still donations coming in Saturday and Sunday for the fundraiser.

Wilson said donations even came in from out of state from people who know Day or other members of the auction team.

She was glad to see it happen for someone who she says has done a lot of good for her community over the years.

By the end of the event, about 250 people had joined the Facebook group where the auction took place.

“I’ll be honest,” Granstra said. “I was pretty nervous going into it, because when we first started day one of the auction, we were probably about at 160.”

The group of friends posted the auction items for bid, one after another, bids immediately began to pop up and the group almost doubled in size overnight. Any worries that people would bid on auction items evaporated.

“It was really cool,” Granstra said. “I went into it not really knowing what to expect as far as how the reaction would be with our community, but it was awesome.”

The hope is to not only help Day pay her medical bills but offer her the chance to travel and spend time with family by taking the burden of medical expenses off her back.

"It’s able to give her some money to where she has the ability to travel to be able to see her grandkids right now,” Granstra said.

Day, with so little time left according to her doctors, wants to spend as much time with family as possible.

Though Day has been presented with a limited amount of time, she’s not ready to stop fighting.

It wasn’t that long ago that she was told she had about three months to live and she has already surpassed that.

Day was not feeling well Monday due to recently starting a new chemotherapy treatment, but she said she was overwhelmed by the support her community and her group of friends had shown over the course of the auction.

"These ladies are amazing,” she said of the group of women who helped her organize the auction. "We all know each other but casually. It was four neighbors in essence here in Spring Valley Neighborhood, that just came together to help me.”

Aside from Granstra and Wilson, the auction organizers included Gilda Angela and Amanda Olsen, according to Day.

The fundraising isn’t over yet. The group has organized an IHOP fundraiser for Day to take place from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Oct. 15 where people can show their server a flier and ask that 20 percent of their bill go to the Angela Day Cancer Benefit. This applies to online, gift card and dine-in purchases.

“They just have to show the flier,” Granstra said.

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