Angela Brandt Havre Daily News email@example.com
Lia Moon was getting excruciatingly horrible headaches and went to the doctor to find the cause and hopefully a treatment. A tumor the size of her thumb, located near one of her tear ducts, was removed in August. The 34-year-old, who lives in Whitefish, thought the process was over and her pain would he alleviated. “My family and the doctors didn’t think it was a big deal. My mom and I went to Missoula for the procedure, my husband didn’t even go,” she said. Moon’s parents, Roger and Marlene, live in Joplin. The doctor thought it was a harmless growth. “He said it was the biggest one he’d seen but it looked normal,” Lia Moon said about the medical provider’s reaction to the mass. The tumor was found to be cancerous, adenoid cystic carcinoma, which is usually found in the mouth, throat or lungs not near the eye, she said. “Oh no, this is the weirdest thing I’ve seen,’ the doctor told me. It’s a very rare thing,” Moon said. She hopes to return to the Hi-Line for a visit this weekend with her husband, Dave Anderson, and their three children, Tember, 15, Parris, 8, and Jarick, 6, to attend a dinner set up in her honor. A benefit for Moon is set for Saturday at the Joplin Community Hall. “It’s a nice excuse to get out of town,” she said this morning after getting her kids ready for school. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a spaghetti dinner, a live auction will follow at 7:30 p.m. and karaoke will begin at 9 p.m. Admission is free and good-will donations will be accepted. Moon, who is a restaurant floor manager, said she is “overwhelmed” with the outpouring of support from residents along the Hi-Line and elsewhere. “I have had people from Minnesota I don’t even know hear about the benefit and send me money. It makes me feel awkward. How do you repay that?” she said. Roger Moon, who is Joplin’s postmaster, said he and his wife, who works for the Liberty County Conservation District, are touched by the benefit. “I am just astounded by the love and concern that people have,” the Joplin resident of 19 years said. She said she was given a few different options in treatment of the cancer. One procedure pitched by a surgeon was implanting a piece of gold into the eye to aid in radiation therapy and another involved cutting out all the areas of her face that touched the tumor, including parts of her cheek and forehead. “Nobody knew what to do,” she said. Moon said she decided on the “middle- of-the-road, most logical” answer. She drives 20 minutes from Whitefish to Kalispell every weekday for radiation therapy. Moon ends a six-week session of radiation treatments in Kalispell Friday. Her vision isn’t great, she said, but she can read and drive. Although she is a bit apprehensive to drive to the benefit in the dark. Donations for the live auction, in addition to a silent auction, which will run throughout the evening, will be collected up until the start of the benefit. Elenor Heydon, who was once Lia Moon’s neighbor and is helping organize the event, said an array of items have Been gathered so far, including homemade quilts, gift certificates for meals at local restaurants, reflexology therapy sessions, windshield chip repair and floral arrangements. Heydon said she heard about the efforts to aid the Moon family, and “just wanted to do something to help.” “They have insurance but that doesn’t cover everything like travel expenses,” she said. Lia Moon said she adores the atmosphere in small towns because “everyone knows you and does care.” To donate or for more information call Heydon at 292-3680, Kathy Nahrgang at 456-3371 or Dawn Wickum at 759-5492. “That’s huge, people donating their services and time to no benefit to them besides the goodness you feel. You see terrible things in the news and you see your little part of the world and it’s such an awesome place, ” Moon said, choked up with emotion.