Sharon and Gary Marasco, formerly of Cranbrook, currently of Creston, are facing an incredibly difficult health journey. Their double cancer diagnosis has been devastating for them.
They used to run One Of The Family Pet Care Centre, an animal care and pet boarding facility just outside Cranbrook, and now run the same business in Creston. Well known in the community, they once provided emergency services throughout the region with a supply of pet rescue kits, including pet oxygen masks.
They are reaching out to the communities they live in, not necessarily for financial help, but for best wishes and to let their friends and neighbours, past and present, know what’s happening with their lives.
“The kindness of people has been overwhelming,” Gary said. “We’re trying to take some sort of positivity out of this. You always wonder ‘why,’ but we’re trying to get some goodness out of this, and take it one day at a time.
“Anything that brings some goodness to this — not even financial. we just want people to know we’re still around and this is what’s happening. It would sure be nice to get some good wishes.”
The Marascos’ travails started three years ago, when Gary’s dentist noticed something during a routine appointment, and referred Gary for a biopsy.
“The dentist caught it,” Gary said. “I ended up having a surgery that was over 12 hours long, to reconstruct my tongue — I lost half my tongue.”
To make matters more complicated, this occurred right at the beginning of the pandemic.
“When they found my cancer, it was prioritized right when everything was shutting down,” Gary said. “At the same time, we were considered ‘orphan patients’ — we didn’t have a family physician for about six years.”
In December of last year, they finally got a family doctor. “They were starting to run some tests [on Sharon], because she had been bleeding … for some time. In March, she started hemorrhaging, and I had to take her into emergency. She was prioritized for a hysterectomy. They did a CATscan. They couldn’t do the surgery, and now she’s going to chemo.”
Gary said Sharon is now listed as “palliative, with uterine cancer that’s now spread to her lungs as well.
“We’re just going through the process of dealing with all this. I’ve left work [at one of the Creston dairy farms). We’re dealing with social workers, especially through the Oncology [unit], which are great, but everything has slowed down.
“We’re basically behind the eight-ball here, going to food banks and such, which I never thought I’d be doing.”
A GoFundMe has been set up for Sharon and Gary to assist them in this difficult time. It can be found online here.