Huntley resident looking for help

Woman who rallied support for fire victims now needs treatment for bladder cancer

Published: Sunday, March 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

HUNTLEY – A Huntley resident who helped rally communitywide support for the victims of the Woodcreek Apartment fire last month now has found herself needing similar support.

Penny Andersen, whose simple Facebook message last month about the fire victims snowballed into donations of food, furniture and money from people across the area, recently discovered that the bladder cancer that briefly put her on life support last year had returned.

Her husband, Steinar Andersen, now is asking for monetary donations to help the family raise $10,000 to help with medical costs and other living expenses during Penny Andersen’s treatment for the stage one cancer.

“I’m just looking for something to help us survive without having to lose everything,” Steinar Andersen said. “But the thing is making sure my wife is cared for.”

The Andersens’ budget has been running tight ever since Steinar Andersen was laid off six months ago as an information technology director because of a company buyout, he said.

The couple also is the full-time caregiver for their developmentally-disabled son, who was born premature, Steinar Andersen said.

The family has had to give up other amenities, such as cable, to conserve money for Penny Andersen’s medical care. Doctors found a tumor on the inside of her bladder during a cystoscopy March 13.

She was hospitalized at Sherman Hospital in Elgin until Tuesday and now will begin treatment to remove the cancer, Steinar Andersen said.

The news comes after Penny Andersen found herself on life support for three days in February 2012, after doctors originally discovered that she had bladder cancer.

So far, the family has raised $6,605 primarily from family and friends, with the goal to reach $10,000 by the end of March. The Para Family Foundation in Lisle will be matching each dollar donated until the month’s end.

A family friend affiliated with the foundation, which helps to serve disadvantaged children, wanted to help once hearing the news, Steinar Andersen said.

OUTBOX

If you give

Any person interested in donating to the Andersens can visit www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/m332/pennyandersenbladdercancer

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