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Qualicum Beach family facing a difficult Christmas

CANDACE WU

news@pqbnews.com

A Qualicum Beach family is going through a Christmas nightmare.

Mother of four, Cara Bennett, 37, was diagnosed with a life threatening form of brain cancer which has left her bedridden in Victoria General Hospital.

"I'm devastated," says husband, Dale. "But I'm just trying to keep it together and be there for my wife."

Dale says the past few months have been a blur.

"It all started with Cara having a seizure," he explains. "Right away they did a CAT scan and found bleeding in her brain. The next day they told us it looked like a tumour."

It turned out Cara had three brain tumours. Two were removed but Dale says one deadly and incurable one was left behind.

Cara has Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) — the most aggressive, malignant brain tumor found in humans. Without treatment she would have two months to live, says Dale. However, successful chemotherapy may buy Cara 12 to 15 months of life to spend with her husband and children, the youngest of which is only 17 months old.

"Of course we are going to try treatment," says Dale. "But the only thing we can do is zap it with radiation and try to shrink it. It's incurable though and eventually it will take her life."

Before Cara was relocated to VGH, she worked as a home support worker in Qualicum Beach where she and Dale raised their family.

The kids, who ranged in age from 17 months to 10 years, are currently living in Victoria at Jeneece Place where they can be as close to their mother as possible during these hard times.

"The kids are too young to really understand what is going on," says Dale. "They just know mom is sick and they want to go home."

Long-time friend, Rita Paul, was heartbroken when she found out about Cara.

"Cara is the most kind, gentle, loving soul," she says of her ill friend. "She's very positive and spiritual. She's known for her kindness and caring of other people."

Paul has taken the time to set up a trust account at the Credit Union under 'Dale and Cara Bennett.' The account number is 755320. Paul hopes the community can come together to raise funds for the family who is going through such a difficult time.

"It would be really nice, especially during the Christmas season, if the community could raise some money for such a wonderful family," says Paul.

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