Auction to raise money for battling cancer |

Auction to raise money for battling cancer

In the humorous yet tragic movie classic “Terms of Endearment,” Emma Horton, played by Debra Winger, after learning she has cancer, is invited to New York by her childhood friend Patsy Clark. The invitation was meant to give her some peace of mind as she must deal with the physical and emotional toll the cancer would inevitably play on her body and psyche.

In one of a handful of moving, pivotal scenes, Patsy’s jet-setting, Madison Avenue friends trade cattish barbs with Emma about being a stay-at-home mother. Patsy later tells her New York friends that Emma has the disease. Their reaction to her is of remorse and pity. Emma later asks Pasty whether she told the friends about her having cancer. Patsy did.

In one of the more heartfelt scenes, Emma tells Patsy that she shouldn’t be held on a pedestal because of her sickness.

“It’s OK to talk about the cancer,” Emma emphatically tells Patsy.

Twenty-three years and millions of deaths later, we still talk about the disease – not only the tragedy of it, but the fact that more people seem to be affected by it.

As a nation and as a community, we’ve grown to fight the disease with awareness, money and time. For the first time, South Lake Tahoe will hold its very own Relay for Life, a nationwide effort sponsored by the American Cancer Society to raise money and awareness for cancer patients and treatment. The Tahoe event is scheduled for July 22 and 23 at Kahle Community Park.

On Tuesday, the South Shore will host another benefit, for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, sponsored in part by the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Riva Grill and Lake DJ Derek Tarpey.

In this event, four single men and four single women will be auctioned off as a show of support to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. One of the bachelors, Danny Heinsohn, is a seven-year cancer survivor. He learned of his brain tumor right after graduating from college. After three craniotomies, a year of chemotherapy and the inspiration to become a cyclist from Lance Armstrong, Heinsohn is cancer free.

“From my tumor diagnosis in May of 1999, life has been good,” Heinsohn says. “I am a cancer survivor, seasoned athlete, indoor cycling instructor, public speaker, writer, traveler and always seeking ways to improve myself and share with others.”

Danny Heinsohn proved that having the disease wouldn’t stop him from living out every single precious second of his life until his will, hard work and attitude drained the cancer out of his body. He is a survivor, a winner and an inspiration to everyone that the most heinous of cancers can be beaten.

Join Danny in the fight against leukemia and lymphoma by attending the auction benefit Tuesday, May 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Riva Grill. Tickets cost $50 and are available at the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Several parties have donated date packages, including a private jet to Napa for lunch, a champagne cruise for two, an ATV day tour for two, plenty of dinners and a comedy show at the Improv.

The nation has changed in many ways since “Terms of Endearment” brought cancer to the big screen. We’re still a long way from a cure. But we’ve come a long way since the days when it wasn’t discussed, and when it was, it was reduced to a topic of pity.

As Emma Horton told Patsy Clark: It’s OK to talk about the cancer.

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