The Lamar County community rallied behind two of its own this weekend, as separate fundraisers to support a pair of local men battling serious medical afflictions both exceeded the expectations of event organizers Sunday.
Chad Taylor suffered a viral infection in January that attacked his thyroid, liver, kidneys and heart. In March, Guy “Bosco” Hicks was diagnosed with lung cancer, and it’s been an arduous road since.
On Sunday, roughly 150 people turned out to the Paris Elks Lodge to support Taylor, event coordinator Johnnie Stewart said.
“It was wonderful, we were completely blown away by the support we saw today,” she said. “We haven’t counted up how much was raised, but we sold a lot of plates and the auction went great. Everyone has been awesome.”
Food was donated by Scholl’s, Stewart said.
Big auction items included a handmade rocking chair, a homemade quilt, multiple fishing rods, a set of serving trays, homemade cakes and more.
From January to June, Taylor said he was in a near-comatose state. In his near future, he is preparing to have stents removed, and he will need to have his gallbladder removed.
“To see the community come out, I can’t put it into words,” Taylor said. “To see how much all these people care is so humbling.”
Hicks’ fundraiser, which took place at Buffalo Joe’s in Paris, welcomed roughly 200 people, according to event coordinator Monica Oliver.
Oliver estimated they raised roughly $7,000 for him, and that money will go to continuing medical costs, as well as the costs of living as Hicks is unable to work while he recuperates.
Hicks said that though the fight against cancer has been trying, it’s going well.
“It’s almost in remission, from what I understand,” Hicks said. “The spots are just barely visible on my right lung, and other than that it hasn’t spread anywhere else, and the type I have can easily spread to the brain or somewhere else.”
Hicks said he was scared when he received the diagnosis, but he has found strength from other people undergoing cancer treatment.
“One of my cousins who’s going through the same treatment gave me a very positive attitude,” he said. “She’s got it in both lungs and her brain and bones, and she just helped me stay strong.”
Hicks also thanked everyone who came out to support him.
“I sure appreciate each and every one of them and want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.”