HAYDEN - Dave Valencia's wife of 17 years was diagnosed with breast cancer in May.
The family is insured. But not for cancer.
"We have an insurance that does not cover what we thought it covered," Valencia said. The 47-year-old Hayden resident said he and his family have always had insurance, but they were unaware that it only covered wellness and injuries, not long-term illness.
"That's kind of the common joke," he said. "You really don't look that seriously at those fine print items."
Dave and his wife Marjorie, 40, have had to become their own "patient advocates," researching their own resources and information about financial relief and assistance. Dave said social workers are assigned to those diagnosed with cancer, but he feels it's an "overloaded position" dealing with doctors, patients and pharmaceutical companies.
Dave said Marjorie is doing well, but still has to undergo breast reconstruction. The cost of chemotherapy, PET scans, echocardiograms and surgery, upwards to $50,000, will all fall on the Valencia family.
That's why the Pink Party is taking place Sept. 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Avondale Golf Club's Water Hazard Restaurant in Hayden Lake.
It's a fundraising event to help offset those costs.
"We are in a predicament and looking to get some support that way," Dave said. The Pink Party will include a silent auction and raffle, wine and spirit tasting, hors d'oeuvres, gift baskets, golf packages, live music and more.
A large focus will be on self-breast-exam awareness, health insurance reviews and other educational resources. Dave and Marjorie will be sharing their findings as patient advocates with others, and they even hope to eventually start a not-for-profit group to help people just like them, facing the same emotional and financial burdens weighed on them by cancer and serious, costly illnesses.
"Sometimes bad things happen for a reason," Dave said. "We truly feel that what we're going through is going to help other families and people in our community by providing the resources we have uncovered."
Visit http://gfwd.at/14ZSo3F to donate funds for Marjorie's medical expenses. Donations of $20 per person are requested for those who attend the Pink Party.
Info: 208-699-5626 or email Dave at email@example.com.