BERWICK, N.S. - A benefit is in the works for a lifelong Berwick resident facing mounting medical bills following a cancer diagnosis.
Everett Richards is no stranger to long-time residents of Berwick. He’s a familiar face in the community and, to those who know him, a born storyteller.
“He likes to tell his stories about when his daughter was a little girl and when he was a child himself and all the trouble he’d get into,” says daughter Vicky Oickle with a laugh.
“There’s always stories.”
She’s heard countless tales about his working days, including his time at Berwick Dairy and the many odd jobs he took on in addition to full-time work throughout his life. And she’s sure there are a few tales that he could tell about the 19 years he proudly served as a member of the Berwick and District Volunteer Fire Department.
But today’s story is about a benefit Oickle is arranging with the help of her daughter, Amanda Cress.
Richards, 83, was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer a year ago. Scans following the initial diagnosis revealed that the cancer had spread to his skull, spine, arms, elbow and hip.
“He has his good days and his bad days,” said Oickle, who noted that an investigation into persisting lower back pain eventually led to a diagnosis of what is typically a slow-growing form of cancer if detected in the early stages.
“Go and be checked out yearly,” she added.
Cress and Oickle recently teamed up to host a fundraiser to help Richards keep up with the costs of medications and medical bills. The benefit - including a ticket auction, 50/50, vendor fair and bake sale - will take place at the Berwick Lions Club from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 17.
“He’s trying to keep a pretty positive outlook,” said Cress.
“Right now, they’re having well problems on top of everything else,” said Oickle.
They’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have volunteered to help in one way or another since they started to spread the word about the upcoming benefit.
“We have had complete strangers we don’t know offer to help with multiple things,” said Cress.
“It’s awesome,” Oickle added.
They’re still looking for donations of items that can be included in the ticket auction. Anyone wishing to support the benefit or offer a cash donation can contact Amanda Cress at 902-341-2035.
If you go
A benefit that aims to help long-time local man Everett Richards with mounting medical costs relating to his battle with cancer will be held at the Berwick & District Lions Club Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.