The Betsy Project Works For A Cure

By: Ben Stanfield Email
By: Ben Stanfield Email

Betsy Vincent began experiencing unusual back pains in 2004. It was the beginning of a life changing battle. In 2006, her doctors were finally able to diagnose her pain as leiomysarcoma, a rare form of cancer that the medical field has little knowledge of.

Her cancer is so rare, when she began to question her doctor about research on the cancer, his reply was not promising.

"He basically told her that there wasn't any," Ben Garrison said.

Ben garrison is Betsy’s brother. He lives in Eufaula where he and Betsy grew up. The Garrison family, which has been in the lumber business for 80 years, now has a new business to tend to. They are raising funds for The Betsy Project.

"She doesn't see that she's been dealt a bad hand. As a matter of fact, she thinks quite the opposite,” Garrison said. “He sees her ordeal more as a positive experience of life as opposed to a negative."

That's because an outpouring of love and support has given her hope. Her doctor at the MD
Anderson hospital in Houston, Texas told her with $200,000, he would be able to fund a research team for her specific type of cancer.

Betsy now lives in Dallas with her husband and two sons, and the community has shown them support in raising $275,000 since just February. $45,000 of that has been raised here in Alabama, mostly in the Eufaula area.

"It has been amazing,” Sallie Garrison said. “We've gotten lots of thousand dollar checks, five hundred dollar checks. I think cancer touches a lot of people, and so people are happy to give."

Sallie is Ben’s wife, Betsy’s sister-in-law.

"Betsy is strictly the representation,” Ben Garrison said. “The concept is to treat sarcoma."

Those with The Betsy Project are hoping to keep the fundraising efforts going strong past the
$300,000 mark. Her brother says that often times in cancer research, they may be looking to cure one type and actually find cures for other types along the way. He also adds that the goal of the fundraising is to benefit everyone affected by this disease.

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