Fundraiser helps family of Boys and Girls Club teacher who died of cancer this month
Friends and family of Marie Marshall helped raise money in honor of their friend’s battle with breast cancer at Marie Rocks Fundraiser, on Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Schenectady Boys and Girls Club, raising nearly $9,000 at the end of the day.
Marie Marshall worked as a teacher at the Boys and Girls Club, mentoring students in pottery and ceramics. In the spring of 2008, Marshall was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. After radical surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Marshall was diagnosed as `clean` according to a press release on the Boys and Girls Web site.
At the same time that Marshall’s treatment had finished, her mother was diagnosed with the illness. Marshall left her job at The Boys and Girls Club to take care of her ailing mother, at which time her house was re-assessed, resulting in increased monthly taxes and putting the family in danger of losing their home.
As Marshall took care of her mother, Jean Flowers, her own cancer reappeared in 2009, more prevalent than before. Marshall’s mother died Sept. 5, and Marshall died two months later on Nov. 11. She is survived by her husband, Todd, and son, Ben. The benefit is to help the Marshalls with medical and housing expenses, which have become a burden.
The event included local bands Par Six, New Shoes Band, Mitch Frasier and Midlife Crisis. An auction showcasing local artisans’ work was also held, while the Boys and Girls club dedicated a workspace in their building to Marshall.
`Marie was one of a kind,` said family friend Bruce Blinn Knapp. `It went really well. So many people came out in support of the event.`
`It was a really fun day,` said friend Diane Blinn. `People really came out to support the cause.`
Blinn had known Marshall for more than 40 years, growing up as neighbors.
`She and I were really close; there was never a lapse in our friendship. She was a very funny lady. The woman could make me laugh,` said Blinn.
Blinn said Marshall always kept a positive outlook during her battle with breast cancer.
`It’s made losing someone close to us easier,` said Blinn. `It softened the blow. It made a really tough experience a lot easier.`
Ben Marshall said he was pleased at the number of people who turned out for the event in honor of his mother.
`I think it’s really cool to see how many people cared about my mom. She was the best person in my life, most inspirational, and I’m going to miss her,` he said.
The 15-year-old Schalmont High School student is currently growing out his hair to donate to Locks of Love in memory of his mother. He is unsure of how long his hair is at this point, but has been told that it is near 14-15 inches.
Although he has lost two very close people in the recent past and is currently dealing with his father being hospitalized, Ben Marshall said controlling emotions during hardship makes all the difference.
`I think it’s a lot about controlling your emotions and keeping them in check,` he said.
He said he wants to become a biomedical engineer and has kept a positive outlook on his future.
Interested parties may donate to the cause through the Marie Marshall Fund at Capital Communications FCU, on PayPal at [email protected] and by mail to Marie Marshall Fund, 710 Rock City Road, Ballston Spa, NY, 12020.