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Fundraiser for Westside man diagnosed with cancer
Westside resident Randy Buttrick has a heart of gold. Friends and family hope the kindness he has shown to others will be returned to him with his battle against lung cancer.
Buttrick, 58, was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer this summer. The disease is terminal and prevents him from returning to his job at Laserflex, Inc. in Hilliard.
A fundraiser to help Buttrick, “Have a Heart! Please Take Part!” will be held on Oct. 29 from 1-5 p.m. at the Boulevard Bar & Grill, 5599 Hall Road. Family friend Cherie Thompson is organizing the fundraiser.
“I started pounding the streets on Thursday (Oct. 29),” she said. “I really would like to… get some people to come and take part in the fundraiser.”
Her husband Bert worked with Buttrick at Laserflex for the past eight years. They have been friends for 22 years.
“He (Buttrick) is such a caring and giving man,” Thompson said. “He would give the shirt off his back to anyone. His wife is down to earth and real sweet too. He knows a lot of people because of his caring ways.”
Buttrick’s wife Barb said he began struggling with a variety of ailments a year ago. He had a cyst on his throat removed, a stomach infection and an irritated esophagus because he was spitting up blood. He started having pain in his right shoulder blade that would not go away unless he used heat and pain medication so they assumed he pulled a muscle.
“He’s the type of person who will be at work … it doesn’t matter how he feels,” Thompson said. “He’s just a hard worker. He wasn’t sleeping. He lost a lot of weight.”
Buttrick had a total of 10 chest X-rays. On Aug. 20 the doctors ordered a CT scan and found the tumor.
The cancer is around his pulmonary artery near his heart which makes it inoperable, Barb said.
“If the radiation shrinks the tumor too quickly it can put a hole in the artery and lead to immediate death,” Barb said. “Six to 12 weeks without treatment, he will not survive.”
The chemotherapy and radiation treatments doctors gave Buttrick a 20 percent chance of surviving five years.
Buttrick has been a welder at Laserflex for 10 years. Prior to joining the company he owned trucking company BRT Transport. Barb said they are amazed by the support of friends and family, especially his coworkers at Laserflex who took up a collection and brought food.
“It has just been totally amazing,” Barb said. “He is not receiving any payments right now. We have applied for short term disability and Social Security. Right now we are living off my Social Security disability check which doesn’t go very far.”
Thompson said her husband and several co-workers took up a collection for the family earlier this year and raised around $2,500. Employees were encouraged to contribute whatever they could and the employer matched their donations.
His co-workers talked about hosting a fundraiser like a poker run so Thompson decided to get involved and created the “Have a Heart,” fundraiser.
Thompson has asked Westside businesses for contributions. There will be a raffle and possibly a silent auction depending on the number of items she receives.
“I have had better luck with restaurants wanting to sponsor him and donate things,” Thompson said.
Former bar owner Terry Buzzard, a cancer survivor, is visiting area motorcycle shops to collect donations for the fundraiser. His co-worker Crista Stonebraker is donating her culinary talents and baking Ohio State Buckeye brownies and cookies for a bake sale.
Boulevard Bar manager Liljana (Lilly) Beljanovski is donating a case of chicken wings and a $25 gift certificate to the restaurant.
Entertainment will be provided by singer Chad Warren and a local disc jockey
“When my husband and I dropped by to try and get information for the flyer … Randy was saying he couldn’t sleep because he was worried about the bills,” Thompson said. “I told him just to take things one step at a time and it will all work out.”
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