Lila Lindsay was leaving her job as an archeological technician in Carson City and transferring to another one when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Not only did this leave her with no insurance coverage, but she also had to leave the job that would have her working in the field as an archeologist. Once Lindsay, 59, was diagnosed she had to stay close to her doctors in Carson City.
"I don't think people realize how expensive (cancer) is until you don't have insurance and you see the figures," she said Wednesday.
Summit Envirosolutions hired her back, but she won't qualify for insurance until December. The insurance company still won't cover her cancer because it's pre-existing. There are many 'what-ifs' in Lindsay's life.
She said leaving her job originally was a horrible mistake - one that she never could've realized at the time.
After one surgery to remove lymph nodes to which the cancer had spread, she prematurely returned to work because she was worried about her medical bills. That complicated her health further.
Lindsay and her husband, Phillip, a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran, have incomes above what it takes to qualify for any help, such as Medicaid. So far her medical bills are up to $30,000.
"I'm just one of those people who there is no help for, hence why my friends are pulling together for the benefit," said the Dayton native. She graduated from Carson High School in 1964.
Michele Busk, a Silver City artist who is organizing an auction there for Saturday, said she was compelled to solicit donations for Lindsay's benefit because of the devastating effects of cancer.
"In the 12 years I've been here, I've seen three women in town die of breast cancer who were my friends," she said. "My husband had cancer last summer and survived it. I just thought that I had to do something."
Many of the 100 auction items were donated by friends who are artists.
-- Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
If you go
What: Auction to benefit Lila Lindsay
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Firefall Studio, 265 B Fourth St. in Silver City
Conducted by: Arundel Auction, 883-0808
Items: Old maps, books, jewelry, a used Subaru, drill press, tools, pottery/artwork, a one-man band machine and a day's work from an electrician.