LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - This Saturday, East Texans will be supporting and donating to the local American Cancer Society during the annual Cattle Baron's Gala.
This year, three East Texas women who are currently battling cancer will be featured in a video presentation. East Texas News got a chance to sit down with one Lufkin woman and find out how she's keeping her spirits up while receiving treatment for a rare type of blood cancer.
Cattle Baron's crews have been working hard all week on the Jack Creek Ranch in Hudson to make sure things are just right for Saturday night's event.
This year, the community will have a chance to meet some courageous women.
"We were able to gather some people who we thought would be good examples and also role models for how you can deal with diagnoses of cancer," said Becca Chance, the Pineywoods Cattle Baron's Gala Chairperson.
Jewel Arender, 78, is one of those role models. In February, she was diagnosed with a rare type of blood cancer.
"It's called Waldenström's macroglobulinemia," Arender said.
The Lufkin woman went for a routine checkup, and when she received her blood work results, she got the bad news.
"I was not really shocked. Cancer runs in my family," Arender said. "My dad had lung cancer and some of his brothers."
Arender's son-in-law and her best friend have also lost the battle with cancer, but this fighter has something to smile about which helps her keep an optimistic attitude.
"I always think about her. She kept her spirits up until the end," Arender said. "I would go over there, and she was always smiling; never complaining. I guess when I kind of get down and out, I think about her."
Arender is a member of the American Cancer Society and said it's an honor to be recognized at this year's Cattle Baron's Gala.
She is thankful for the many East Texans who generously donate to help those who are battling cancer.
"Cancer is here and until we find that super cure for cancer it's going to be around for a while. So, it's something that if we haven't already dealt with it we're going to have to deal with it sooner or later."
Tickets are still available for Saturday night's gala.