Benefit to help Warren Center man
Scott Bellinger is an artist. He makes a living working with light, color and beauty.
But now Scott needs help. So this weekend family and friends will bring the Warren Center man some of their own light, color - and beauty.
Scott's battling Stage Four kidney cancer, and organizers are planning a benefit for him Sunday afternoon at the Warren Center Community Hall. The day includes a spaghetti dinner, music, raffles and more.
"It's hard because to see somebody that you love that much have to go through that kind of a trial," Angie Brown-Bellinger, an event organizer, says. Angie is Scott's aunt.
Scott, 37, graduated from Northeast Bradford High School, attended the Pittsburgh Art Institute, and lived awhile in New York City before moving back to this area. He makes a living working with computer graphics, photography and oil painting.
"We call him our starving artist!" Angie jokes.
"He's funny, he's quiet," she says. Compassionate. Scott can visit easily with people any age. "He knows a lot about a lot of things."
In January, Scott felt as if he had intestinal trouble. He went to the emergency room.
Turned out, he had a tumor in the descending colon, a cancer that had started in a kidney.
So he had his right kidney removed. "They put him in a clinical treatment for a drug,"
Angie recalls. He went back a month later - and found he had five tumors at the base of the remaining kidney. So two weeks later they wheeled him into an operating room, the doctor intending to take the tumors out.
He found 15 more.
He removed them but couldn't get the original tumors right then. One can never be cut out - it's between his diaphragm and spinal cord and surgery would paralyze him.
"There's a 10 to 25 percent survival rate at 25 months," Angie says. "It will all depend on how he responds to treatment."
Though not too effective with kidney cancer, chemotherapy and radiation would be his best chance, Angie says, because surgery can leave behind microbes that will bring the disease back.
"I think it would be hard for anybody to be in a position of trying to decide what kind of dignity and kind of quality of life are you going to have left," Angie says.
Scott's advice to others, Angie says, is this: "When something doesn't feel right in a person's body it probably isn't and they should get it checked out."
Today, he's considering a certain type of medicine - a very expensive medicine.
So a benefit will help. The event will run from noon to 6 p.m. and, according to a poster, includes a Chinese auction, basket and 50/50 raffles, gun and guitar raffles, a bake sale, entertainment (a band made up of relatives, Angie reports) and some of Scott's art - the "best thing of all," she says.
She notes there also will be a tattoo artist and face painting.
"Anything creative, he likes that."
Scott lives with his parents, Keith and Virginia Bellinger. He's home and up and around, Angie says. "I think he has his moments where he's pretty depressed," she admits.
But just the other night Scott enjoyed some good moments. "He loves cats!" Angie says - he has five to 10. He was playing his guitar, and his little "family" gathered around. "They all came and sat down in a circle and listened to him play the music on the guitar for about 10 minutes!" Angie says. "They love him!"
And now, everyone is gathering around.
Angie notes the Sackett family in Louis L'amour's Westerns. They always stick together. "That's kind of the way the Bellingers are," she declares. If one has trouble, "the rest of us all pull together."
This Sunday family, friends and everyone will be pulling for Scott. To help him - and bring him a little beauty.The spaghetti dinner benefit for Scott Bellinger will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Warren Center Community Hall. For more information or to donate items for the Chinese auction or other activities, contact Angie Brown-Bellinger at (570) 395-3253, Jodi Sechrist at (570) 744-1916 or Misty Delaney at (570) 468-4227. To donate money directly to Scott, mail him at: 51 Pondbrook Road, Warren Center, PA 18851. The benefit will include a basket raffle, with tickets for $1 each or six for $5. To purchase them ahead of time, contact Angie. Baskets include: Tupperware, Pampered Chef, scrapbooking, Christmas baking, wine, Thomas Kincaid wreath, Christmas, yarn, cheese (LeRaysville Cheese Factory), food basket from (LeRaysville Market), Avon, kid's Avon, woman's relaxation, arts and crafts, Bath and Body Works, guy's snacks, kid's coloring, dog and cat supplies, ribeye and kids' toys