By Tim Leeds
Julie A. Azure is holding a raffle to help pay for her battle with cancer.
Azure was diagnosed with cancer in July 1999. She has undergone different chemotherapies at Benefis East Hospital in Great Falls ever since, but said that shortly after the treatments stop, tests show they have had little success.
Azure said her doctor wants to perform a test to find the most effective treatment for her cancer. She said doctors will take a sample and send it off to California, where it will be grown and tested to find the most effective treatment.
The test will cost $2,500, on top of the costs of her regular treatment. Azure's friend Daisy Sherman set up an account at Independence Bank to deposit money to pay for the test and Azures' other expenses. Sherman said a $500 deposit was made the same day she opened the account, but they still need to raise $2,000 for the test. She said more money would also help the travel expenses and help pay for the treatments.
The raffle they are holding to raise money for the account has several different prizes donated by Azure's friends and family. In addition to two $50 cash prizes, there are two hand-made satin star quilts, three hand-made shawls, an original pencil drawing and a hand-made cradle board.
Sherman said they will have a table set up in the Holiday Village Shopping Center Saturday with the prizes displayed and tickets for the raffle. The tickets sell for $1 each or six for $5. Sherman said they are planning to continue to have displays on Saturdays at different locations. The drawing for the raffle will be held June 1, but the exact location has not been confirmed yet.
Azure said it has been a difficult two years since her cancer was diagnosed, but her work and family have gotten her through it. She said she has gone through several different sets of chemotherapy, but none have helped significantly. She said Thursday that she had two more treatments this week. She will have two weeks off, then go back for three more sets of treatment.
Azure said her work has helped keep her going. She and her husband, Robert Azure, have managed the Hillview Apartments for about seven years now. She said that keeps her going.
Among the other things that help her continue are her grandchildren, she said. They are taking care of their granddaughter, T'Shauna, right now. Azure said they just had a new grandson born and will start taking care of him next week as well. She said taking care of the children is probably the best thing to help her now.
"They keep me going; if I just sit and think, it's too hard," she said. "My husband says they keep us young."
For information or to ask for raffle tickets, contact Azure at 265-9441 or 262-9750.