“It is very important to me to be a voice,” said Thomas. “A voice of love, compassion and encouragement to people who need it. It gives me a lot to know that that I’m making a difference.”
And now Thomas’ friends want to make a difference for her.
Next month, Thomas will be the focus of The Miracle Fundraiser, a daylong event designed to ease the financial and emotional burden for Thomas – a single mom – and her three children. Held at the Brentwood Community Center, the fundraiser will feature performances by the California Cowboys and East County Kids N Motion, and will include raffles, prizes, food and kid-friendly activities.
For the can-do girl who is more accustomed to giving than receiving, the community’s outpouring of support has been overwhelming.
“It took a lot of humbling on my part to accept the help, and there were a lot of tears, but they were happy tears,” said Thomas. “I’ve had friends calling me and bringing us food and just checking in on us. The Mayor of Brentwood even called me. People asked me what I wanted, and I said just a day to be with my family and friends. So that’s what we’re going to do.”
And in typical Thomas fashion, she’ll be working her own fundraiser, manning a table and soliciting sign-ups for the American Cancer Society’s upcoming Relay for Life event – the premiere cancer fundraiser, which celebrates those battling cancer and those who have lost their fight to the disease.
Thomas has been involved in the local relay chapter and other cancer support groups since she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. For her, it’s all about showing the love.
“Ever since I was diagnosed I have come into this new family, the community of Brentwood,” said Thomas. “My dream, when I get better, is to have a nonprofit agency for individuals and their families who are dealing with cancer. In fact, I’m going to use any money I get to pay my bills and put some toward the nonprofit. I’m all about my kids and my community.”
Thomas is expected to begin a regime of chemotherapy and radiation within the next few weeks, and says her doctors have given her a good prognosis. For now, she intends to focus on her health, her family and her ongoing commitment to helping others. That, she says, should keep her busy.
“I’m happy with what’s going on in my life right now,” she said. “I know that I am not alone in this fight and I’m looking to help others along the way. Life is too short not to reach out, laugh a little and enjoy, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
The Miracle Fundraiser will be held Saturday, March 28 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Brentwood Community Center, 730 Third St. Tickets are $25 for adults; $10 for ages 6 to 17. For more information, call Shante at 925-890-1904 or Baheejah at 925-798-1610.