Cancer, despite its sometimes destructive nature, has a way of uniting people.
Anne Paul and Kathy Golden are the perfect example.
Paul and Golden met through mutual acquaintances and became fast friends over their shared experience with cancer.
Paul, 66, who lives in Port Richmond and serves as secretary of Port Richmond on Patrol and Civic, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and kappa light chain disease in November 2017.
Golden, 52, who lives in Fishtown and had lung surgery in 2018 with a diagnosis of two different Langerhans cell histiocytosis and small cell carcinoma.
Golden’s son, Matthew Remick, 28, was diagnosed at 21 in 2015 with oligodendroglioma, a tumor in the left primary motor cortex of his brain.
“When you are in this situation, it is surprising how many people you meet who know someone with brain cancer,” said Golden, who started a charity organization to help individuals with cancers to cover expenses such as traveling for treatment.
“It was first started so Matthew could go to San Francisco for surgery,” said Golden about her group. “Thankfully, with the help of our friends and family, they held a beef and beer for Matthew so we could go to San Francisco for his surgery.”
All three continue to either undergo some type of treatment or testing.
Having gone through the experience of battling cancer firsthand, Paul and Golden wanted to help those in their communities going through similar ideals.
After having gone to several of the same events together, the duo decided to host one to help cover the financial costs being incurred by a young mother in the River Wards battling brain cancer.
PROPAC and Gray Matt’ers Team Matthew are organizing and hosting the mystery bingo event in hopes of helping those in similar situations.
Hosting the event together was a no-brainer.
“Anne and I would go to each other’s events,” Golden said. “PROPAC does many things for the community and I had heard about a young mom who was having financial difficulties with medical expenses.”
“PROPAC and Gray Matt’ers have helped each other for years working on each other’s events, so we decided to do an event together,” Paul added. “Because Kathy heard about this young woman who is fighting brain cancer, we decided to help her and Project Secret Santa.”
And, while PROPAC and Gray Matt’ers are hosting the fundraising event, the recipient has no direct ties to either group.
But, she is a resident of the River Wards.
“She has no connection to PROPAC or Gray Matt’ers, but because she needs help and lives in our community, we’re about community and we just want to help,” Paul said.
“We hope to be able to help the young mom who has brain cancer with her medical expenses,” Golden added. “I heard about her on social media and then met her through one of our bingos in the past.”
A portion of the proceeds will also go toward PROPAC’s Secret Santa initiative.
“Project Secret Santa helps needy families at Christmas,” Paul said. “It’s not just toys, it’s food or rent or utilities or whatever they may need.”
For Paul, it’s all about taking care of the community.
“The overall goal is to help anyone we can. Community is very important to us, all our money stays in the community,” Paul said. “We are trying to make a difference.”
Mystery Bingo will be held on Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m. at Saint George School, 2700 E. Venango St. Doors open at 1 p.m. Cost is $25 per ticket in advance or $30 at the door and includes 10 rounds of bingo plus bonus rounds. Event is BYOB and bring your own snack. The event will also feature raffles. For more details, contact Anne at 215-380-9782 or Kathy at 215-519-7413.
PROPAC meetings are held at the Columbia Social Club, 3529 Almond St. The next meeting is on Wednesday, May 4, at 7 p.m.