The Norman Transcript

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September 1, 2013

Stage 4 Life assisting cancer patients through fundraiser

NORMAN — Stage 4 Life, a local nonprofit organization, will have its annual fundraiser from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Thursday at Riverwind Casino. The event will include a catered dinner. Tickets are $35 each.

The theme for this year’s event is “Calling All Angels.”

“Our goal is to not only raise funds to assist Stage 4 (cancer) patients, those we call ‘heroes,’ but also to sign up individuals, ‘angels,’ who can be called upon at a future time to provide a product or service,” Stage 4 Life board member Tina Viray said. “There are lawyers, dentists, hairdressers, babysitters and landscapers, among others who — when called upon — can fulfill the wish of one of our ‘heroes.’”

Stage 4 Life came about as a result of Sheryl Auringer’s battle with breast cancer. She saw organizations racing for a cure and making children’s wishes come true but none that addressed the needs of adults with Stage 4 cancer diagnoses.

Before Auringer died from breast cancer in January 2009, she wrote a letter to her family and friends. Until about two years ago, that letter remained packed away in a box. Auringer’s sisters, Jaime Tally and Marci Mitchell, just couldn’t bring themselves to open it.

But, eventually, the sisters built up the courage and opened that letter. What Tally and Mitchell realized from the words that Auringer wrote all those years ago was that their sister’s kind spirit and big heart were still alive today.

“It (the letter) said, ‘I want to form this foundation called Stage 4 Life for cancer patients and their families.’ It’s not all about breast cancer now. Then she preceded to say it’s going to be as if it were a Make-A-Wish Foundation,” Auringer’s friend, Cris Shutt, said. “We are going to help people, I don’t care if they want a backyard makeover or maybe they want to go to a Thunder game or maybe they want attorney bill’s paid.”

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