Cancer benefit: The giving spirit

The scene was awe-inspiring and the event hadn't even started yet.

By 11 a.m. Saturday a good portion of the little pink house on Lacy Road in Mandana was filled to the hilt with baked goods, art works, books and jewelry. And more baked goods continued to roll in just as the storm clouds had a short time before.

"It's just amazing," said Karen Graham, Susan Major's mom. "Everyone's been so wonderful."

The commotion wasn't a party -- well, not in the traditional sense -- instead it was the Make It Bake It bazaar. All proceeds are going directly to Susan and her family as she continues on her journey back to good health.

In mid-May, Susan was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy. She's currently receiving chemotherapy treatment and will eventually undergo radiation treatment, Graham said.

Despite all she's gone through, Susan is remaining active by reading all the entries on CaringBridge, an online journal that helps keep friends and family up to date on what is happening with their loved ones in time of illness. The site was set up by one of Susan's friends and her husband Matt, director of the Skaneateles Community Center, regularly updates it to keep everyone informed.

Through it all, Matt has been Susan's rock and been with her every step of the way, Graham said.

Regardless of her illness, Susan has expressed to her mom that there are things she wants to do when she's well again, things that will help others in times of need as so many are doing for her.

"She's made a difference in so many lives," Graham said a bit misty-eyed.

The difference she's made and the lives she has touched could easily be seen as the house filled with eager shoppers ready to spend whatever they had in their pockets. By 12:01 p.m., just one minute after the sale officially started, the line leading through the front door needed to be stopped because they simply could not fit any more people in.

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