More than 30 local artists and regional businesses have donated a variety of items, such as art and gift cards, to support a Tyler woman in her fight to beat brain cancer.

The event, in honor of Sarah Breedlove, a local artist, wife and mother of two, will be held at True Vine Brewing Company in Tyler on Nov. 6.

It began years ago, after she had suffered from migraines for a long time. Following weakness on the left side of her body and having a seizure at home, she was taken to the emergency room, where a CAT scan was performed. A mass in her brain was confirmed, but a biopsy was found inconclusive.

On Jan. 29, 2018, it was determined Breedlove had oligodendroglioma, a rare form of brain cancer. The only thing going through her mind was “I’m going to die,” she said. Everything that happened afterward was hazy, she said, partly because of the seizure.

Carrie Davis, one of Breedlove’s best friends, said she heard the news from her husband, who had to announce to family and friends Breedlove’s condition.

“I do remember coming to see you in the hospital and we just both burst into tears and we held each other’s hands and cried,” Davis said.

Within 24 hours, a neurologist delivered the news of the official diagnosis of oligodendroglioma, a primary central nervous system tumor.

“At that time, I didn’t have any health insurance and we had to figure out the money for the surgery,” Breedlove said. Her family and friends came together to provide for the surgery, and her tumor was removed March 19, 2018.

Breedlove attended scans regularly as treatment. She said doctors recommended chemo, although they weren’t sure it would work, and warned her the treatment could cause the cancer to return aggressively each time.

After visiting more specialists who had different opinions during that time, it was all more difficult for Breedlove to know what to do as treatment. Some doctors gave her a life expectancy ranging from four to five years to 10 to 15 years.

“I have not done chemo because that just doesn’t sound like a very good option to me, so the treatments that I do in Dallas are weekly,” Breedlove said. She’s been attending those treatments since March 2020.

Breedlove described the treatment as alternative therapy, which focuses on detoxification and whole body health. She is fully dependent on the therapy.

“This is all we know to do,” she said. “And it’s working.”

Breedlove said as she began the therapy, she had other health problems she hadn’t addressed, such as her digestion, mood and skin. She added her eyes have become a brighter color.

Breedlove has two children, a 13-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. She’s an artist and said that since her diagnosis, she’s become “freer in her art” and hasn’t been as afraid of mistakes.

She said her husband has been a huge supporter and has done more than a person should have to do.

Another friend of Breedlove added that after she saw her GoFundMe, fundraising for money to complete treatment, she felt in her heart someone should organize something to help.

“I thought it would be cool to gather local artists to help facilitate raising money,” she said.

In collaboration with Breedlove’s friends and family, the “Artists for Sarah” event was organized.

The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., and True Vine, which donated the space, a live band will be playing that night. A tent will be set up where a silent auction will be held for the artwork and donations. A donation bucket will be available and the silent auction bidding will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. All funds raised online and at the event will go toward Breedlove’s treatment.

 
 

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Bilingual Multimedia Journalist

I cover COVID-19 and health in the East Texas area for Tyler Morning Telegraph, the Longview News-Journal and Tyler Paper Español. Stephen F. Austin State University alumna. For story ideas, email me at rtorres@tylerpaper.com.