IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming to an end, so one organization decided to end it with a celebration of life.
The Idaho Falls Fairwinds Retirement Center held its first breast cancer benefit. It would have been just another fundraiser, with more stuff for people to buy, but Fairwinds General Manager Kelly Martin had her own story to tell.
"This is near and dear to my heart because I am a little over a year survivor myself," she said.
Martin was fighting for her life for more than a year. She said this benefit is to help other people who are fighting as well.
"Obviously it's a time of uncertainty and it's scary, it's just really hard to relax," said Martin.
So she decided she would do more than just host an event. She sold the mink blankets she created - the craft that got her through all her cancer treatments and long days recovering.
"It was kind of my peace and helped me through what I've done," she said.
The craft show didn't end with a few blankets. Vendors from all over eastern Idaho came to sell their crafts. It was an event that program trainer Jeanna Staten said makes programs like "look good, feel better" so successful.
"They're wonderful, free programs and they're a benefit to everybody. It doesn't matter what the patient's income is or their insurance or anything like that. We offer these free programs to everyone in the community," she said.
For those who are under-insured, benefits from this event could make all the difference.
"They're amazing, they're really wonderful because it's like a godsend," said Staten.
It's a godsend that Martin was lucky enough to find somewhere else. In addition to help from the American Cancer Society, she had the support of people living at the center.
"When I was diagnosed they embraced me. They told me all about what they had gone through. It's just been a really neat thing for them to be apart of this as well," said Martin.
All proceeds from craft sales will go to the American Cancer Society.