By Reggie Ellis
Besides appendicitis during a student exchange trip to Australia, Scott Hester had never been sick until he started having trouble swallowing, shortness of breath and splitting headaches in August. By the end of the month he decided to see a doctor, a rare occasion for the healthy 32-year-old. After a few tests he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
“It was quite a shock,“ said Anne Hester, Scott’s mother, who along with her husband Gary, had never seen Scott even miss a day of school due to illness growing.
A CAT scan revealed a tumor the size of a tennis ball in his chest. Anne said it was an aggressive tumor that was growing into and squeezing his windpipe and pinching blood vessels connecting to the back of his brain causing the headaches. Scott was moved to the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center last month for chemotherapy treatment and observation. His wife, Amy, and daughter, 2-year-old Gwynn, have moved into an apartment near the hospital to be close to Scott.
Scott and his father, Gary, run Hester Orchards, a long-time family farming operation just south of Farmersville. Anne said despite the sudden turn of events, Scott has kept his sense of humor and kept the spirits of the family high. In one instance he asked his mother to buy him an electric razor to shave while he was in the hospital prior to chemotherapy. He only finished one side of his face before the battery died. The nurse came in a few minutes later and he told her, ”, I’m losing my hair already!“ The room burst into laughter, so much so, that nurses from other areas came in to see what the noise was about.
“I know he is going to be OK,“ Anne said. ” was so healthy, he has to be OK.“
Because Scott will be unable to work and medical expenses over what his insurance will cover are beginning to mount combined with the added cost of travel and expense for the family to rent an apartment, Scott’s friends and acquaintances have rallied together to hold a benefit dinner on his behalf. The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Exeter Memorial Building. They are asking local businesses to donate raffle and auction items (such as gift baskets, gift certificates or items) for the dinner.
Dinner includes beef, pasta, salad, bread, dessert and drinks. Raffle tickets are $20 each. There will also be music a raffle and auction. Raffle prizes include a 2006 Kawasaki Prairie 360 4X4 Quad with a retail value of $5,200. All proceeds from the dinner go directly to Scott and Amy. Dinner is $50. Make checks payable to Amy or Scott Hester, care of Lisa Coulter, 19383 Avenue 300, Exeter, CA 93221. Tickets will be waiting for you at the door. For ticket information call Nicole Berry at 594-5815. For questions call 747-1145.
“I have taken care of everything,“ Anne said. ” are so overwhelmed with everything that has happened. There are so many wonderful people in the Valley that have asked to help.“