Friday, June 23, 2006

Benefit set for Hailey woman

Express Staff Writer

A benefit for Hailey resident Trudy Whaley is being held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at the Wicked Spud in Hailey. Whaley, who is undergoing chemotherapy to treat stage 4 ovarian cancer, flies every two weeks to the Cancer Treatment Center in Oklahoma.

Her husband, Jeff, has been employed by Valley Paving for the last six years, as well as by Whitehead's Landscaping.

The family has already suffered through several other medical traumas in the last three years, including a daughter who had surgery in 2003 for a brain tumor, another daughter who was hospitalized for a massive kidney infection, and a son who shattered both wrists in a motorcycle accident. They also have an 8-year-old son in school at Hemingway Elementary in Ketchum.

When her daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December 2003, Whaley "prayed to God to take away Ashley's pain and suffering and put it on her instead," her friend Merri Whitehead said. "She, like any mother, wished the tumor was in her body and not her daughter's."

In August 2004, Whaley went to the doctor to check on a lump in her neck that had been bothering her. It proved to be cancerous. Although she underwent surgery and chemotherapy immediately, by the summer of 2005 the cancer was back and had metastasized.

The benefit on Saturday features a live music jam with valley musicians, raffles, a silent auction, food, beer and wine. Because the benefit precedes the Sun Valley Center for the Arts first summer concert, specially created picnic baskets will be available to take on to the Blue Highway concert at Hop Porter Park that evening for $12. They must be preordered, however.

Call Janet Appleton, at 726-7451, by 3 p.m. today, June 23, to order the specialty picnic baskets.

A bank account in Whaley's name has been established at the First Bank of Idaho for donations, which can be made at any of three valley locations.

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