BRACEVILLE, Ill. — The Harvey family has gone through numerous challenges in recent years and now, with a member fighting brain cancer, the community is stepping up to try to help.
Mother of three, Tracy Harvey, formerly of Minooka and now of Braceville, was diagnosed about five months ago with glioblastoma, brain cancer. She has already had one surgery to remove one tumor and is currently undergoing chemo and radiation for the second.
“It came out of nowhere. There were no signs. I was standing by the stove cooking with my son and I went into a seizure,” said Harvey.
“They say it is something that has been there for awhile. It’s something they usually find in males over 50, so how a 42-year-old female has it, I’m not really sure,” she said.
The tumor is stage four, she said, and it causes her left side to be weaker than her right side. She has no use of her left hand or arm. The doctors said she would get her use back after the first surgery, but so far that has not happened.
“I’m doing pretty good so far. I’ve had my moments where I have been a little sad, where I don’t know how I’m going to finish it. My family is incredible. They have been very supportive of me,” said Harvey. “I couldn’t do it without them. The best thing is knowing I have them to fight for and with.”
Harvey is married to David Harvey, a native of Minooka, and they have 17-, 16- and 13-year-olds. They live in Braceville now, but their son attends the REACH program at Minooka Community High School and David Harvey’s family is still in Minooka. His parents, Martha Ann and Danny Harvey, are 32-year residents of Minooka.
The family’s hometown and the Braceville community have stepped up with fundraisers to help the Harveys pay their rising medical bills.
A “David and Tracy Harvey Benefit” will be held at 6 p.m. this Friday, March 15, at Chapin’s East, 502 Twin Rail Dr., Minooka. The entry fee is $20 and includes appetizers and a DJ. A silent auction will also be held.
“They have been absolutely wonderful to us. If we were going to have to have this happen, we chose a great place to have it in — both here (in Braceville) and in Minooka and Channahon,” said Harvey.
Nancy Lupton is on the benefit committee for the family. She is a friend of David Harvey’s parents and wanted to do her part to help.
“The family has had a lot of hardship and a lot of stress,” she said. “And I thought we could help them through this.”
Martha Ann Harvey has had some medical issues to fight as well, Lupton said.
“This is a very difficult time for them, but they all have such good attitudes,” she said.
The silent auction will have items for everyone, she said, including White Sox and Chicago Bulls tickets, a Miller Lite mini fridge, coolers, free will service from a law office, and 25 different assorted baskets.
A big ticket item is an autograph from “Parks and Recreation” star and Minooka native Nick Offerman, as well as a $700 Citizens wristwatch like Offerman wears on the show.
A bank account has also been opened for donations for the family at Private Bank in Minooka, Channahon and Joliet. Checks should be made payable to David and Tracy Harvey Benefit. The account will stay open for another six weeks.
For more information on the fundraiser, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.