The Sandpoint community is unlike any other, joining together to help out when others are in need and are facing hardships. The community has an opportunity to come out and show their support to a local family as Heath Okon, husband to Diana and father to their two sons Brycen and Christian, has been battling advanced stage synovial sarcoma.
“Advanced stage synovial sarcoma is cancer that starts in the extremities of the body, typically arms or legs near the joints,” says Diana. “Heath’s is in his thigh and, unfortunately, was very large before diagnosed. If the cancer has spread, it typically metastasis to the lungs and continues on from there. This makes it near impossible to cure. Heath's has metastasized to his lungs, and he had over 20-plus in both lobes.”
First diagnosed in May of 2018, Heath has been through chemo and immunotherapy, radiation and inpatient chemotherapy. Though these treatments have shrunk some of the tumors, they are still, unfortunately, inoperable. “The fact that nothing is operable has been extremely difficult,” says Diana.
His treatments are now in St. Louis, requiring a lot of travel and living expenses. All money raised will go toward these expenses.
“His local sarcoma oncologist found a new T-cell trial in St. Louis,” says Diana. “Luckily his tumor markers and blood markers were a match, so he has started the process.”
The trial in St. Louis is a first phase, with only 52 people in the world at 10 sites.
On October 19, join Diana, Brycen, Christian and the rest of the community at 5pm for an auction, dinner (catered by Ivano’s), drinks and dancing at Ponderay Event Center while getting to support this amazing cause. Beer, wine, seltzers and soft drinks will be available upon purchase.
Tickets are available at Style Bar Beauty Bar, Perfection Tire and Sandpoint Furniture for $25 (cash only please). And for those unable to attend, cash donations are appreciated at any of these locations. And as Diana says, donation of auction items is much appreciated. Monies raised will go toward travel and living expenses, as well as accrued medical bills.
Heath has managed Perfection Tire in Sandpoint since May of 1996. He coached his children in AAU basketball and Sandpoint Little League baseball. He loves Sandpoint and enjoys outdoor activities—especially fly fishing, according to his wife.
Get your tickets today to enjoy a wonderful evening for an incredible man and his family.