Hundreds attended the fundraiser for Barry Marchi on Friday, June 21. Submitted

Fundraiser for Sparwood cancer patient raises over $80k

“Friday was something I won’t ever forget,” said Sparwood’s Barry Marchi.

A fundraiser for a small-town man battling with blood cancer raised over $80k in one day.

The funds will go towards helping Sparwood’s Barry Marchi recover from nearly four years of unemployment due to his battle with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

Look back: Sparwood dad looks to U.S. after cancer treatments prove unsuccessful in B.C.

In addition to the money made from the golf scramble, barbecue, silent auction and live music, some also gave donations in the form of money or silent auction items.

Reflecting on the June 21 golf tournament fundraiser, Marchi was at a loss for words.

“Friday was something I won’t ever forget,” said Marchi. “Truly amazing. I was in awe for most of the next day – I was like, did that just really happen?”

Marchi returned from three weeks of radiation treatment in Kelowna to see close to 300 people show up to support him and his battle with cancer.

“You know, I was overwhelmed by the show of support from my family, friends, people I work with, coworkers and just the community in general,” he said.

“People came from a lot of places. They flew, they travelled for a day to get there. Quite overwhelming… I just tried to take it all in. Just relax, take it all in.”

The fundraiser was spearheaded by Sonya Hammond, who received much support from Barry’s lifelong friend Duane Allan, Ian Benson as well as Linda Sagrafena, Sonya Hutchinson, Sharon Glover, Patsy Decker, Alysia Gartner, Kim James, Melissa Marchi, Gail Podrasky, Sheri Taylor and Sparwood Golf Course manager Barrie McWha.

“It was overwhelming; I never dreamed of it turning into an event of that size,” said Hammond.

Once the word got out about the fundraiser, the support was like a domino effect. Hammond highlighted Sparwood accounting firm, 4-A Professional Services, who offered to manage the funds raised, free of charge, and also donated $5000 to Barry’s battle.

One of the largest live auction items donated was an all-expense paid fishing trip valued at over $26k, courtesy of Ocean Trailer-Duncanby Lodge and Resort.

“So many people know him (Marchi) and love him, and he’s just that guy that would do anything for anyone,” said Hammond. “So I think when we started this, people just were completely drawn, knowing what kind of man Barry is, and they jumped at the chance to help.”

Marchi said he saw the support of many friends, but also the support of many he didn’t know.

“It gives me… I feed off that. That’s what keeps me so focused. (I’m battling) not for just myself and my family, but the people that have been behind me and supported me,” said Marchi.

“That’s been one of the big driving factors for myself,” he continued. “It’s the people that I’ve known that were battling cancer that aren’t here anymore.”

Since September 2015, Marchi has been involved in a constant battle. After three different types of chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant failed to yield results, the 54-year-old was told by doctors that he was refractory – untreatable.

Marchi now has his hopes pinned on CAR T-cell therapy, which involves genetically altering the patient’s T cells – a type of immune system cell – so that they attack the cancer cells. For this he must travel to Seattle, Washington.

For now, it’s a waiting game. As soon as Marchi gets the call, which he hopes will be soon, he’ll head south.

Thanks to recently approved out-of-province funding, Marchi won’t have to pay for the treatment which comes with a hefty pricetag of $1.1 million.

Marchi said the fundraiser and show of support on Friday has given him newfound motivation to continue fighting, a motivation which he will bring with him through the next stage of his treatment.

The Free Press will be following Marchi closely on his journey south to Seattle.



editor@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Hundreds attended the fundraiser for Barry Marchi on Friday, June 21. Submitted

Just Posted

Suspect in custody after Castlegar break and enters

RCMP reminding residents to look their doors.

Passenger counts still rising at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Reliability rates also on rise in second quarter.

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

PLACE NAMES: Grand Forks neighbourhoods, Part 2

No nuts were grown in Almond Gardens

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

CONTEST: Scene it?

Castlegar News’ weekly photo location contest.

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Most Read