In between Sebago Lake and Casco Bay, there’s a Maine community where many people know about NET cancer and can even name someone who has died from it. And if you are there in winter, you may even see a zebra-painted snow plow clearing the streets.
The abutting towns of North Yarmouth and Cumberland have lost three community members to NETs. In February, 22-year-old firefighter Brandon Thibeau died two years after the biopsy of a swollen lymph node showed a NET.
A little over a year ago, the former town manager of North Yarmouth, Marnie Diffin, succumbed within months of receiving her NET diagnosis. Twelve years earlier, a 41-year old EMT and mother of four, Susan Taylor, died less than a year into her journey.
Debbie decided to act. “How could it be that for a rare cancer, that I could know three people who have been afflicted with it in my small world of Cumberland and North Yarmouth,” she told her local newspaper.
Last year, Debbie convinced public works to paint the plow with zebra stripes and she promoted NET awareness at polling places during the presidential election. This year, she’s planning a Hunter’s Breakfast, sponsored by the North Yarmouth Fire Company, on Saturday, October 28 from 5 am to 9 am. Brandon’s family, Debbie’s co-workers, and the firefighters are organizinging the logistics for an expected crowd of 300. Heaping plates of eggs, pancakes, sausages, and home fries will be offered to early risers with a free-will donation. Proceeds from the breakfast benefit the NET Research Foundation. Public Works plans to have the zebra painted snow plow on display. Learn how you can sponsor a fundraiser in your community.