Angela Brennan and her husband, Bob, will celebrate their 20th anniversary next month.
She’s hoping it’s a good one, since it may be his last.
Bob Brennan, 50, was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in April. The cancer has already metastasized to his brain, liver and ribs. He had brain surgery earlier this summer and is currently undergoing chemo and radiation treatments, but the five-year survival rate for patients with Stage IV lung cancer is less than 2 percent.
Friends and neighbors of the Brennan family are holding a benefit this weekend to help them out with their expenses. The event will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday Aug. 17 at the Clay fire station on Route 31. Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for children 6 to 13 and free for children 5 and under. The benefit will include a DJ, a 50/50 raffle, numerous gift raffles, food and entertainment for the kids.
“Angela and Bob’s neighbors and friends have rallied around the family to help them with this benefit because they are in true financial hardship,” said Kelli Martino, a friend of the family and one of the benefit’s organizers. “They really relied on Bob’s income to make ends meet. He hasn’t been able to work, and with the increased medical and transportation costs, they are in dire need of assistance.”
Martino, who has known the family for seven years, said it also helps the people who know and love the Brennans.
“It helps us to do something for them,” she said. “They always do for the community. This family is a very caring group of people, and they give back to the community in so many ways.”
Indeed, Angela Brennan said their friends and neighbors have provided plenty of support for the family since Bob’s diagnosis.
“There’s been a lot of help out there,” she said. “Our neighbor [Ellen Jones] had her roof done this summer, and then she got her church [North Syracuse Baptist Church] to pitch in and have the roof done at our house. It’s been amazing.”
Martino said people are happy to help Bob Brennan, whom she described as a hard worker and a family man.
“He’s worked at Monro Muffler for 19 years,” she said. “Many people know him well as the go-to person there as manager. And he’s always busy doing things with his kids.”
Bob and Angela are the parents of three children — 16-year-old Marty, 13-year-old Tonya and 12-year-old Kenny.
“They’re doing okay,” Angela said of the kids. “It’s tough. The oldest is getting antsy — he can’t go out with his friends as much because he has to stay home and help with his dad. The youngest is learning disabled, and he doesn’t really understand, but he’s starting to — he’s noticed that Daddy hasn’t gone back to work. So, yeah, it’s hard, but we’re hanging in there.”
Martino encouraged people to come out and attend the benefit to assist such a deserving family.
“[This is] an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of a family whose world just changed in the most drastic way and will never be the same,” she said. “We’d love to have the community support them, and they really do deserve it.”
For information or to make a donation, call 699-9311 or 699-7795.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.