CANTON, Mich. (WXYZ) - Seated inside her small kitchen, Joanne Savage of Canton, Michigan starts every day by reciting a series of affirmations about life, strength and faith.
Joanne needs all the strength she can find right now. She needs to be strong for her three boys: 15-year-old Colin, 12-year-old Jack and 8-year-old Nolan.
Almost one year ago, Joanne lost her loving husband Patrick, 51, to 4th stage esophageal cancer.
Now, Joanne is going through the very same thing. She is fighting a life and death battle against stomach cancer and is about to start 6-months of chemo therapy.
Already, Joanne's medical bills have topped $1.5 million. Her last surgery alone rang up $800,000.00 in bills.
She gets Medicaid insurance from the state of Michigan, but that doesn't cover everything, and the way things are, Joanne can't work at all to support her family for the foreseeable future.
Now, with the list of Joanne's expenses growing higher and higher every day, the owners of a local restaurant, Real BarBQ in Canton, are planning a huge fundraising event this coming weekend.
This Saturday from 11:00 am to 1:00 am, the owners of Real BarBQ will donate 50% of all sales of food, alcohol, take-out orders-- everything they sell will benefit Joanne Savage and her family.
Real BarBQ is located at the intersection of Ford Road and Lilley Road in Canton and is easily accessible to I-275.
The owners of Real BarBQ hope to raise $10,000 or more, but it will take all of us to make it work.
If you'd like to help Joanne and her kids, please come on out this Saturday and enjoy some mouth-watering barbeque at Real BarBQ.
In the meantime, 15-year-old Colin Savage has just one prayer: that his mom can keep up her strength throughout the long battle ahead of her.
"I watched my father die, I don't want to watch my mother die too", Colin says.