A small bump felt under an arm has in a matter of a couple months turned a family upside down.
Cancer has reared its ugly head in Southern Inyo, inflicting 30-year-old Kristin Palmer, wife and mother of four from Lone Pine.
Palmer is at the City of Hope in Duarte undergoing her first of 16 weeks of chemotherapy and then radiation treatments. Her cousin, Michelle Hykes, said despite the battery of tests and biopsies, doctors are still unsure exactly what kind of cancer Palmer has. It may be Stage III breast cancer or Stage IV lung cancer, Hykes said.
Hykes said it has been a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, grief and the anxiety of waiting. She added that Palmer’s children, Daniel, 10, Jakob, 9, Kaitlin, 7, and Samantha, 4, are doing well, but they know their mother is sick.
Palmer had to quit her job months ago when first diagnosed and her husband, Joe, works but the bills are piling up and may soon be astronomical, Hykes explained.
To help the family get through this difficult time and pay bills and transportation costs, a fundraiser is being planned for noon-5 p.m. Saturday, July 30 at Spainhower Park in Lone Pine. There will be a raffle, a bouncy house, which a local church is donating the funds to rent, face painting, egg toss, musical chairs, karaoke, along with dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs and all the fixings.
Donations are also being accepted at AltaOne Credit Union under Palmer Relief Fund. There will also be a box at the park for donations of dry and canned goods for the family.
Hykes said that like most folks that work hard, pay their bills and support themselves, it is difficult to ask for help, but she said the family is ready. Palmer is a familiar face, having worked as a server in several restaurants, including Seasons and Merry-Go-Round, as well as at the Southern Inyo Clinic.
Charles James of Healthy Communities of Southern Inyo said it can be even harder for some folks trying to figure out who to ask for assistance. Healthy Communities is helping Hykes organize the fundraiser and, secured the use of the park through the use of its insurance.
“It was clear from my meeting with them that they were flying by the seat of their pants, especially when it comes to promoting something like this,” James said in an e-mail, “so I told them that I would try to assist them in any way that I can.”
For more information, or to donate to the fundraiser, call Hykes at (949) 322-4822.