WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The Annual Hope From Helen fundraiser raised $45,000 to help Wilmington women dealing with breast cancer and those dealing with other types of cancer.
The event started in 2005 when Helen Butler was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. Her husband had recently been laid off and she had no health insurance, so her friends started the fundraiser in her honor. In the beginning it was called "Hope For Helen."
Not too long after her initial diagnosis she was hit again – this time with breast cancer.
"I think she took that harder than she did the lung cancer," said her son Tony Butler.
It was after that diagnosis and all the help they received that Tony asked his mom about changing the name of the fundraiser from "Hope for Helen" to "Hope From Helen."
She was starting to get better, but Helen only made one of the fundraisers as pneumonia ultimately claimed her life in October 2006.
Butler's son wanted to make sure his mom's legacy lived on while helping other women going through what his mom did by continuing the fundraising event. Tony believes his mom remains the driving force behind the annual fundraiser. He still uses her old ragged checkbook to write checks for Hope From Helen to give to other people.
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