Marysville comes together to help cancer patient

Cancer victim Dawn Robertson, 27, with daughter Hailey, 4, right, a cousin, Connor Fatland, 3. -
Cancer victim Dawn Robertson, 27, with daughter Hailey, 4, right, a cousin, Connor Fatland, 3.
— image credit:

MARYSVILLE — It all happened very quickly, according to Diana Wickberg.

Wickberg’s daughter, Dawn Robertson, 27, herself a wife and mother, suffers from a potentially fatal and sometimes difficult to treat form of cancer known as refractory Hodgkin’s lymphoma, often referred to as Hodgkin’s disease.

Now going for seven-day-a-week treatments at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Robertson said she was first diagnosed with the disease in November. Initial treatments proved unsuccessful. Her only alternative now is a stem cell replacement procedure which could eventually allow her body to redevelop healthy blood cells.

There was one hitch for Robertson who has lived all her life in Marysville. In order to receive the stem cell operation, however, she needed to move, with a caregiver, to a facility in Seattle. As she was already on disability and living with her grandmother, the money for a move to that Seattle facility was proving hard to come by. That was when someone had the idea for a large yard sale or flea market.

“It wasn’t really a flea market,” said Wickberg. “But I guess you could call it that for lack of a better word.”

The family began to put up notices of the sale, asking for donations of items, in stores and restaurants around Marysville. Robertson particularly mentioned Don’s Restaurant, among others, as being a big supporter.

“It just took off and people donated and donated,” Wickberg said. Wickberg added she was amazed at the quality of items donated. She said lamps, DVD players and other items all worked and were in good condition. One woman donated a $1,500 wedding dress.

“People are starting to think there are not any good people in the world anymore,” Wickberg said. “There are.”

Besides sale donations, various local companies donated items ranging from tents to bouncy houses for kids to play in while parents shopped. One firm even donated gravel to place down at the site of the sale, Robertson’s grandmother’s house, so that visitors would have a place to park.

While she had nothing but praise for all the businesses that donated, Robertson held out special thanks for the McDonald’s Restaurant on State Avenue and Hyundai of Everett for special recognition, among others.

According to Robertson, the three-day sale, which took place over Labor Day weekend, raised some $15,000. She added some donations still are arriving. The money will allow her and husband Ron — who will act as Dawn’s caregiver — to make the move to Seattle, where Dawn will await her operation, which should take place in the next few weeks. Though she knows she has a way to go, Robertson sounds up-beat, if a bit tired during a telephone call. She talks about getting beyond her current problems and starting school to become a paralegal.

“I just want to get through this and land the good job,” Robertson said.

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