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B the Light Gala at SE Event Center Oct. 26

Photo by Jon Carter Photography Amber Melby of New Ulm poses with a photo of herself while she was receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. Melby created the B the Light non-profit organization in honor of her aunt Brenda Plinke, an 18-year metastatic breast cancer survivor. The B the Light Gala begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Sleepy Eye Event Center. A dinner, live auction, program and music by Midwest Sound follows.

SLEEPY EYE — Sponsorships are being accepted to partner with a non-profit organization to shine light on women and families affected by breast cancer, at the 2019 B the Light Gala in the Sleepy Eye Event Center on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Amber Melby of New Ulm created the B the Light organization in 2016, to honor her aunt Brenda Plinke, an 18-year metastatic breast cancer survivor. Brenda was also known as Aunt B to her family and friends. She lived by the motto “never give up hope” and was an inspiration to all who knew her.

B the Light honors Aunt B’s legacy by coordinating “hope getaways” during or after treatment.

Hope getaways can allow a survivor to join their family on a journey back to feeling “whole” again, without the financial burden of travel costs.

When one family member has cancer, the whole family is affected. The physical, emotional and financial stresses of the disease are devastating. Patients enduring breast cancer chemotherapy and radiation often suffer from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after treatment, according to the American Psychological Association.

“We are raising money for breast cancer survivors in Minnesota. It’s going to be an awesome night. We have many local, sponsoring companies,” Melby said.

Melby herself was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40. She said her Aunt B was her guiding light and inspiration.

“We just want to shine a light on other people who are going through such a dark time,” Melby said.

“The main point of the breast cancer diagnosis and how it ties to the event we are hosting is that through that very dark time in my life, I was able to see the light by how people helped my family […],” Melby said. “People made meals for us, sent flowers and beautiful hand-written cards offering encouragement and hope. They also helped shuttle our kids to school and activities.”

Saturday events begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Dinner, a live auction and a program are set for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Music by Midwest Sound begins at 9 p.m.

For more information, visit bthelight4someone.org/gala or call 507-276=4122.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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