GREELEY, Colo. -- Cancer is a tough diagnosis for any family. But imagine getting that diagnosis three times within three months.
That’s what happened to the Hamlet family of Greeley.
This Saturday, their friends are trying to help them get through their illnesses--financially.
"She was diagnosed the 27th or 28th of December, and she passed away January 3," says Ted Hamlet, of his mother, Bertha.
She lost her battle against breast cancer.
Then, 13 days later, doctors told Ted’s son, Scott, he had lymphatic cancer.
But the heartbreak wasn’t over.
"He said, 'Ted, you've got Non-Hodgkin lymphoma,’" says Ted.
Doctors gave Ted his diagnosis two months earlier--the day after Thanksgiving.
"Within three months, three different family members diagnosed with certain cancers is befuddling, overwhelming and downright scary," says Scott, 40.
"You wonder why this happens and what's going on and is it something in our house? Radon? All these things come to mind. What do you do to prevent it?" says Kathy, Scott’s mom and Ted’s wife.
But doctors assured them it was nothing they could have prevented.
“It just happens. Why it happened to both of them, I don't know," she says.
Father and son not only battle a deadly disease, but also how to pay for treatments to save their lives.
Scott initially didn't have insurance and still owes about $40,000.
"That's just the hospital, no doctors, no radiology, no specialized tests," says Scott. He says his hospital bill was initially $110,000. They gave him a break on the cost because he’s paying directly.
So friends hope a game of chance may change their fortune.
They have organized a Poker Run fundraiser, which means participants will ride a motorcycle to five different locations in Fort Collins and Greeley, each time drawing a playing card from a deck and whoever has the best hand wins prizes.
"It' just an outpouring of community. It's awesome,” says Scott.
It's support to help a family who has had the cards stacked against them--in hopes they win back their health.
Scott just finished his chemotherapy three days ago and will find out in two weeks if the therapy worked.
And Ted's cancer, so far, is in remission.
The poker run fundraiser is Saturday, June 9.
Registration is at The Hideout in Fort Collins. The run starts at 8 a.m. with the last motorcycle out at 10 a.m.
Winners can drive away with prizes, including: art, car tune-ups, vacations and massages, to name a few.
A fund has also been set up at any First Bank in Colorado. You can donate to the Hamlet Family Benefit account.AlertMe