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Fighting the fight: Online auction to benefit Kemp

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Once again, the Madison County community is scheduled to come together for one of Madison's own. After a cancer diagnosis, a unique online cake auction is set to take place on Thursday, April 18, and your help is needed.

A resident of Madison since 1975, Tammy Kemp was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in the middle of February. Triple-negative breast cancer, according to www.nationalbreastcancer.org, is a diagnosis meaning that the three most common types of receptors known to fuel most breast cancer growth – estrogen, progesterone and the HER-2/neu gene – are not present in the cancer tumor.

Kemp recalls that she began noticing swelling and pain in the area of her right armpit. Following multiple visits to her physician, a lump and lymph nodes were surgically removed in late January, which was followed by the diagnosis.

Currently, Kemp and her family are traveling to the Moffitt Cancer Center, in Tampa, Fla. for chemotherapy once a week. Proceeds from the auction are slated to go to the Kemp family to help with travel and lodging expenses, as well as other expenses that have put a financial burden on her family due to the diagnosis and treatment.

Kemp, a former North Florida Community College employee of seven-and-a-half years, is married to Rodney Kemp and has five children. While she does work for the Suwannee Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Live Oak, Fla., her hours have been cut more than half due to the circumstances.

The online auction bidding process will begin at 8 a.m. Administrators of the event page will post pictures of the delicious cakes, pies and whatever else donated. A starting bid will also be placed by the administrators in the comment section of each picture.

Anyone wishing to place a bid should post their bid amount in the comment section. At the close of the auction, which will be 6 p.m. promptly, the highest bidder on each comment section will win their respective treat.

Winners will be contacted with payment information at the close of the auction. Winners of the auction may pick up their treats at Fellowship Baptist Church during select times before Easter Sunday. If you are donating your homemade cake or pie to the auction, you may drop off the item on Wednesday, April 17, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Treats may be picked up on Thursday, April 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Friday, April 19, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Additional fundraisers, including selling t-shirts and a dinner hosted by Pinetta Baptist Church on Saturday, June 8, will be officially announced at a later date with further details.

The auction will take place on a Facebook event page. Simply type in "Cake auction to benefit Tammy Kemp" on www.facebook.com. The auction item drop-off/pick-up site, Fellowship Baptist Church, is located at 1997 NE Colin Kelly Hwy., in Madison.

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