Article courtesy of the Shelby News, Nick Cusack, Staff writer
Friends and family of a Shelbyville man will hold a benefit as he fights lung cancer.
Chris Mann, a 39-year-old life-long non-smoker, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer on Oct. 8. He thought originally it was pneumonia, and so did his doctors, who routinely sent him home with medicine. At his wifes urging, Mann asked for an x-ray to be done and that is when it was discovered he had cancer.
He has had to shut down his business, Reliant Electric, and his wife was recently laid-off. His friends and family hope to help support him and his four children as he undergoes chemotherapy.
"I had pneumonia for a month leading up to the diagnoses of cancer," Mann said. "We are hoping for the best."
The event will be in two parts at the Shelby County Fairgrounds Family Arts Building on Nov. 30. The first will be a vendor fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring wares from several places such as Sensy, Pampered Chef and Paparazzi Accessories and Jewelry.
The second part will be a spaghetti dinner and auction from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the fairgrounds. Tickets for the afternoon event can be purchased at Panzarottis Hamilton House, 132 W. Washington St. and Anytime Fitness, 2521 State Road 44, Shelbyville. They can also be purchased online at fullthrottlecancerbenefit.eventbrite.com or by calling 317-292-3111.
The event will feature music from local Scott Schrader and a DJ, as well as a raffle and an auction and beer and wine.
"We are starting to put these flyers up all through town," said Erin Wheeldon, a friend of Manns who is helping to organize the event with another friend, Dave Howard. "Basically we are trying to raise as much money as we can."
Besides his electrician business, Mann has been involved in local midget car racing for 15 years, which the benefit plays off of. Its full title is Full Throttle Cancer Benefit for Chris Mann. Mann beams with pride as he talks about his victory in a feature race.
Mann said he appears to be responding to chemotherapy, though the cancer has spread some.
Wheeldon said that November is Lung Cancer awareness month, so she hopes to dispel some myths, such that lung cancer is only found in smokers.
Mann said he believes the cancer came from a car accident when he hurt his chest on a seat belt.
He said he wants to thank everyone who has supported him and his customers.
"I would like to thank the people who stepped up to help," Mann said.
A fund has also been set up for Mann through First Merchants Bank.
Nick Cusack is a staff writer of The Shelbyville News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.