Community Rallying Support For City Woman

Area residents have rallied to offer support in the form of a spaghetti dinner benefit to a local mother of two who is currently battling colon cancer.

A benefit dinner for Laurie Mattson is set to be held from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, at the Marco Polo Club, 1027 E. Second St. in Jamestown. The event will feature an $8 spaghetti and meatball dinner that includes a salad, roll and drink. The benefit will also include activities such as a basket auction, drawings and a bake sale.

Mattson, a 39-year-old Jamestown resident and 1992 graduate of Jamestown High School, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in May of 2013. Since then she has undergone radiation, oral chemotherapy and a 13-hour surgery. She is currently in the process of completing another round of aggressive intravenous chemotherapy in hopes that by July she’ll no longer need it. The diagnosis and treatment has left Mattson, a single mother of two, unable to work. She currently lives with her two children, Lucy, 3, and Caleb, 11, in the home of her parents, Nancy and Joe Armeli.

“The support has been very overwhelming – this is when you find out who your real friends and family are,” Mattson said. “I have chemo every other week, and I’m usually down the entire week. I go to Olean for an infusion, and then I come home with a pump that goes in for 46 hours. I’ve done two treatments so far, and I have 12 total that I have to go through until July. Hopefully after this chemo we can start shaping up again. The prognosis is good, but they want to make sure it doesn’t spread anymore.”

Just after being diagnosed, Mattson managed to complete an accounting degree at Jamestown Business College, but she has been unable to put her education to use. However, some may recognize Mattson from Truck-Lite, where she worked for nine years as an assembler. She also recently had to take time off from serving as a cashier at Rite-Aid.

According to Nina Constantino, Mattson’s sister and event organizer, she’s been pleasantly surprised by how the community has come together in support of her sister.

“I am amazed by the support of small businesses, community members, friends and family – everyone has come together,” Constantino said. “Area residents are encouraged to come out for a fun, family night to help another family fighting cancer.”

The location of the benefit, the Marco Polo Club, is also where Mattson’s bridal shower was held. For more information, call Constantino at 969-2884, or Michelle Hamilton at 640-3868.