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Locals help send Sequim woman to Disneyland
Cheryl Ghere, 58, is going back to the happiest place on Earth thanks to local supporters.
Her daughter, Lacy Thompson, started an online campaign that quickly ballooned into more than $7,000 in support to pay for tickets to Disneyland and airfare for Ghere’s family.
“I’m absolutely stunned and very, very humbled,” Ghere said. “It’s humbled to me no end. It brings me to tears.”
The good news comes after a grim diagnosis for Ghere who has been battling colorectal cancer for three years before she received a diagnosis on Feb. 12 that her cancer has gone terminal. Doctors have given her nine months to two years to live after an inoperable cancer has come back to the pelvic soft tissues.
Thompson said her mom has been a huge Disney fan all her life and that they wanted to go back there and enjoy it especially to see Ghere’s two youngest granddaughters enjoy Disneyland for the first time.
Ghere said that was the kicker to go back and to revisit Disneyland with her three other grandchildren who she last went with in 2007.
“We took my three other grandchildren when they 5, 8 and 10, so they don’t remember too much about it,” she said. “I want them to have a memorable vacation with me and have the babies see the castle and Mickey Mouse for the first time. For them to see it in person, I know they will love it and I will get joy out of it.”
Ghere will fly on March 13 with nine family members including Thompson, Ghere’s two other daughters Lindsey Richardson and Kelsey Blair, Lindsey’s husband Derek, and Ghere’s grandchildren Olivia Thompson, 22 months, Emma Blair, 2, Kynsie Richardson, 11, Hailie Richardson, 15, and Jordan Richardson, 17.
Thompson said the trip needed to happen for her mom, she just wasn’t sure how it was going to happen due to the high costs. She reached out to Disneyland but did not hear back so she reached out online to friends.
“I was kind of at my wits end when I hadn’t heard anything,” Thompson said.
“I posted on Facebook that I was accepting donations and then a friend shared a link (gofundme.com) and that I tried it.”
Ghere said she wasn’t expecting to go on the trip until she heard the good news.
“I didn’t really have a choice,” Ghere said. “(Lacy) said we will get you there. I had resigned myself that we had done our last trip but by then it had exploded. I was just stunned at what was going on. The power of Facebook.”
Thompson said her family is shocked yet grateful for the support.
“We’re just glad we can get Mom there,” she said. “It’s happiest place on the earth and it opened the year she was born, so it’s meant to be.”
This week, Ghere went to the Fred Hutchison Institute for analysis for any possible experimental treatments to prolong her timeline.
Before stopping her career, Ghere was last working as the finance director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula for six years.
With Ghere’s family reaching their goal earlier this week, additional donations will help with food and traveling expenses and medical bills.
To donate and/or or read more about Ghere, visit www.gofundme.com/6ydn6g.