MAYVILLE - To help pay for medical costs after an aneurysm was found on her brain, friends of Diane Thompson of Mayville will be holding a benefit in her honor Saturday.
According to Tricia Smith, Thompson's employer at Lighthouse Point Grocery, Thompson had complained of headaches earlier in the year.
"She went to the chiropractor to see about her headache, because she thought it might have been a pinched nerve or something similar," said Smith. "She came home and felt great, but the headaches came back, so she just thought she needed to go back to the chiropractor. One day after work, she came home and started slurring her words to her husband. He brought her to St. Vincent's Hospital, where the doctors discovered she had an aneurysm on her brain."
The discovery occurred March 9, and surgery was scheduled for March 11. Following her surgery, Thompson spent the majority of the next two weeks in intensive care, and was allowed to come home March 22. She is in a comfortable setting and is recovering well from the procedure.
However, Thompson's insurance would not cover the total costs of her procedure and hospital stay, so friends and coworkers decided to hold a benefit to help her pay medical bills.
Thompson's recovery, though on schedule, has been a long one. Thompson will not be cleared to return to work until late May or early June, depending on how the rest of her recovery progresses.
"We're very supportive of Diane," said Smith. "Anything she (and her husband) need, we want to be there to support them. She's a great worker and an even better friend. We don't want her to have to carry the burden alone."
The benefit for Thompson will take place at the American Legion in Mayville from 5-9 p.m. May 18. Admission to the event is $10. All guests will be served dinner, and will have the opportunity to enter a meat raffle, as well as a raffle for a 32-inch Emerson television and a silent auction.
"We're not really sure what will be served for dinner yet, but it will be something that guests will enjoy: beef on weck, pulled pork sandwiches, pasta salad and potato salad - things like that," Smith said.
"Lighthouse Point Grocery is well known for its meat selection, so we intend to raffle off what it is that we do best," said Smith, regarding the meat raffle. "We're not exactly sure what (cuts) we will be auctioning off yet, but it will certainly be worth entering."
Likewise, the television which will be raffled will also be donated by the Smiths.
Items featured in the silent auction have been donated by organizations and businesses around town, and include, but are not limited to: gift certificates to area golf courses and restaurants, as well as alcohol donated by local liquor stores.
"Diane is an amazing person," Smith said. "Reliable, sweet - would do anything for anyone. It just gives me goosebumps. She's so incredible, and we just want to be there for her when she needs us. I can't explain with words how much this will help her and her husband get through this particularly tough trial."
Additionally, a benefit fund has been established at the Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union in Mayville. Cash donations can be accepted in person, and checks can be made out to the Diane Thompson Benefit Fund and sent by mail to the credit union.
Questions about the benefit can be answered by calling 269-9689. Questions about the benefit fund can be answered by calling 753-4201.