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Pleasant Hills resident Christy Hazaga has been fighting a rare and particularly malicious type of cancer called paraganglioma for more than seven years. Her condition is a result of a genetic mutation received from her father, and Christy's sister, Veronica, passed away from the same type of cancer in 2002.


Christy has been receiving treatment at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. She has been through almost a dozen different surgeries, several radiation treatments, and chemotherapy so far. Unfortunately, all of these treatments have not been enough, and while her doctors have been doing a wonderful job trying to help her, they have run out of options here.

Fortunately, Christy has recently been lucky enough to be accepted into an experimental trial in Houston, Texas, at the Excel Diagnostics and Nuclear Oncology Center. It is a promising new treatment, and Christy's family is hopeful that it will be successful for her; however, this treatment is very expensive, and insurance will not cover all of the costs.

In addition to the costs of the treatment itself, there are also the significant travel expenses. The trial requires four separate trips to Texas, each lasting 1-2 weeks, with four additional follow-up trips, and costs of flights, lodging, rental cars, etc. that go with it. It is going to be a serious financial burden on her family.

Because of this, Christy's family is holding a benefit on her behalf: "Christy's Chili Cook-Off" will be held on Friday, October 17, at 6 p.m. at the Buffalo Inn in South Park. Tickets to the benefit will be $25 each and will include food, beer, and soft drinks. Liquor will be "BYOB" but mixers will be provided for free. There will be the chili cook-off itself as well as raffles, a Chinese auction, door prizes, entertainment and a lot of fun!

Please consider attending this event or making a donation. Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated - baskets or gift cards for the auction, soft drinks, prizes, serving supplies, snacks, or participation in the cook-off! Additionally, if you have any banners or advertisements for your business, they will be displayed at the benefit as a token of appreciation for your donation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Debra and Leonard Mayotte at 412 848-2222.




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