Community unites in Exeter in support of Arely Powell

Helping One Woman dinner at Exeter Veterans Memorial in Exeter.(Rigo Moran)

Helping One Woman dinner at Exeter Veterans Memorial honors Arely Powell in support of her battle against cancer

EXETER –  On a heartfelt May evening, the community rallied in the Veterans Memorial building in honor of Arely Powell, transforming a simple gathering into a beacon of hope for a brave young mother battling a rare cancer.

Family, friends and community members all came together on May 14 in the Exeter Veterans Memorial building to support Arely Powell, a 32-year-old woman who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma earlier this year. Ewing’s Sarcoma is a type of cancer that forms from a certain kind of cell that can be found in bone or soft tissue.

“My recovery journey starts now,” Powell wrote in her story for the event flier. “I have just completed my first round of chemotherapy, and God willing, we will start to see progress.”

Powell is a mother to two children, 9-year-old Lincoln and 7-year-old Brylee, and is married to her husband Mike Powell, who she married in April 2023 and described as “the love of my life.” She also has six sisters, Jessica, Brisy, Ana, Merlena, Larissa and Daisy, all of whom nominated her to be honored by Helping One Woman — an organization otherwise known by its acronym “HOW.”

HOW is a nonprofit in Fresno, with a chapter in Exeter, that helps women who are going through a time of irreplaceable loss within the past 12 months of their nomination. The organization helps women such as Powell by hosting a dinner in their honor and generating funds to help them in their time of need. 

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The Powell Family at the Helping One Woman Fundraiser in Exeter. (Rigo Moran)

To help raise money for the nominee, participants must RSVP for a special dinner in their honor and make a $10 donation. HOW’s motto, which can be found on the nonprofit’s website, is: “One woman with $10 can buy another woman lunch. Ten women with $10 can buy another woman’s groceries. One hundred women with $10 can make a real difference in another woman’s life.”

In her story, Powell said she first noticed something was amiss in November 2023, when some pain in her right leg started to impact her walking. She hoped cutting down on her work commute would provide her with some relief after a few doctor’s visits indicated nothing was wrong, but as time went on, the pain became so severe by March that she was starting to feel it in her back.

Some more trips to the ER and a visit to the Stanford Cancer Center led to Powell’s final diagnosis of Ewing’s Sarcoma. Although recovery is never easy, Powell is fortunate to have a mountain of support by her side to help her through this battle.

“I know this will be a difficult journey but I’m not alone. The love and support I have received from my family, friends and my community has been such a blessing,” Powell said. “I am ready to fight and win this cancer battle.”

For anyone that could not attend the dinner but is still interested in helping Powell in her time of need, they are encouraged to donate to her Venmo account @Arely-Powell.

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