Friends muster support for cancer patient

Coworkers, family to hold benefit dinner for medical bills
By: Andrew Westrope, Staff Writer
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When: 6-10 p.m. on Saturday, March 9

Where: Sierra Vista Community Center, 55 School St., Colfax

Tickets: $30 apiece at Dawn's Hallmark and Raley's on Lincoln Way.

To donate: Contact any Bank of America location and make a deposit in special account #164101239878.


COLFAX – Two months after a grim diagnosis, Applegate resident Tammy Tye-Moore’s best shot at recovery lies in the generosity of her friends and family.

Tye-Moore found out she had acute lymphocytic leukemia on Dec. 3, only two days after retiring from her job as a clerk at Raley’s in Auburn. Doctors started her on chemotherapy immediately and told her she needed a bone marrow transplant, but none of her four siblings were a match. With bills running high and time running short, Tye-Moore’s family and former coworkers have come to her aid to help fund the search for a donor.

Their public fundraiser, the Tammy Tye-Moore “Friends for Life” benefit dinner and social, is scheduled for 6-10 p.m. on March 9 at the Sierra Vista Community Center in Colfax. Tickets for the barbeque tri-tip and chicken dinner started selling last week for $30 apiece, with discounted food from Raley’s and all proceeds going toward event costs and medical bills.

Having worked on community projects like Raley’s “Giving Tree,” volunteered at the Black and White Ball and welcomed friends to stay at her home, Tye-Moore said she was “overwhelmed” at being on the receiving end of local hospitality this time.

“It’s different than doing it. I just feel so grateful that I have such good friends and family, and we live in such a wonderful community. (My family members) have lived here almost all of our lives, and for that to be able to turn around and help benefit me, every day I just think how lucky I am,” she said. “This fundraiser is going to help me be able to have more donor searches so that I can have a bone marrow transplant, because without the bone marrow transplant, I wouldn’t be here to be able to spend the rest of my life with my family and my friends and live in the community.”

Tye-Moore’s sister, Diana Walton, said testing bone marrow donors costs tens of thousands of dollars and isn’t covered by Tye-Moore’s insurance, and her family is in no position to bankroll the search.

“Without the fundraiser, I don’t know how she’s going to pay for the medical care, because her insurance won’t pay for the search,” Walton said. “In the meantime, Bob Santin and the Raley’s people said, ‘It looks like we better get a fundraiser started (as soon as possible).’”

Santin, a retired Raley’s manager who has put on large dinners and benefits in the past and worked with Tye-Moore for 15 years, said organizing a fundraiser was the obvious thing to do. He remembered her as a popular checker at Raley’s, a “stellar employee” and a leader of several of the store’s community outreach projects.

“We’ve done these events before for other people,” Santin said. “Some of her close friends at the store were talking about her current medical problem, and we said, ‘We should probably just do an event,’ like we had done for a previous employee.”

Tye-Moore’s friendliness and popularity at work seems to have inspired an outpouring of support in her hour of need. The crew at Raley’s started a “Cans for Tammy” recycling fundraiser, and volunteers are soliciting items for auction and raffle at the benefit. Walton said an employee of the Loomis store has raised more than $200 making and selling earrings at Pete’s Coffee, and Starbucks may donate product as well.

Tye-Moore is grateful to family and friends who have reached out to the community, and to the community for reaching back.

“My goodness, I probably have over 300 cards from my Raley’s customers. They have a drop-off box, and they bring them to me all the time,” she said. “I worked there for 37 years, so I watched kids grow up and have kids, so it’s been a wonderful experience to be able to be here all my life.”