JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) – The Southern Tier showed its support Saturday for a local UHS employee who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Laurie Bliss has spent more than decade of her life taking care of others at UHS hospital as a housekeeper, but in 2018, her health starting taking a turn for the worst.
“I had surgery last September and then afterwards I started getting things that weren’t quite right,” said Bliss.
In March, Bliss was diagnosed with cancer, effecting not just her and her family, but also her co-workers at UHS.
“It’s difficult to find out that news about somebody that you’re close with that’s a friend but Laurie has a great group of people around her. She has been extraordinary through this whole thing so we are proud of her,” said Colleen Brown, Bliss’s co-worker and one of the event organizers.
Bliss’s co-workers say they wanted to show their support by hosting a benefit dinner to raise money for her medical care.
“We have tons of delicious food. Lots of pasta, meatballs, salads, breads, rolls, we got a full bar going on. We have more basket raffles than I have ever seen in my entire life,” said Brown. “The best thing is that Laurie can focus on her recovery and healing rather than financial burden.”
Many attending also sported their “Laurie’s Crew” T-shirts.
“We’ve figured it would be a great thing to show solidarity to Laurie, to get T-Shirts made to get other people together in sponsoring and I think everyone looks great in their shirts,” said Brown.
The result was a room full of people and a line out the door.
“It’s amazing. I never really realized this many people would show up for me,” said Bliss.
Bliss says she is overwhelmed and thankful for the massive support as she continues to recover and get back to serving others.
“I finished my last radiation yesterday, my chemo is done. Now it’s time to heal and getting better so I can get back into my world,” said Bliss.
More than 80 baskets were raffled off during Saturday’s event. Event organizers say the event raised thousands of dollars for Bliss.