An area man is in the midst of his third battle with cancer. Now his family hopes to help him pay for several years of treatment.
Bill Seastrum, a High Acres Trailer Court resident and Jamestown Scientific employee, was diagnosed with cancer in his lungs, liver and hip in November after fighting off the disease two years earlier. Seastrum, 60, has been hospitalized multiple times in recent months, adding to 13 years' worth of health-related expenses.
"It just seems like every time he gets ahead, he gets knocked down," said Jo Nickerson, Seastrum's sister. "(Doctors) think that if he gets the chemotherapy that they can stop the progression and maybe shrink all of the tumors. Right now, it's just kind of a waiting game."
Bill Seastrum, from Jamestown, was diagnosed with cancer for the third time since 1999 late last year. Community members will gather at the Falconer Rod and Gun Club on Feb. 19 to raise funds for Seastrum and his family.
In 2009, doctors removed one-third of Seastrum's right lung after discovering a tumor. In 2007, Seastrum was rushed to Cleveland Clinic where doctors repaired his leaking aortic aneurysm. In 1999, Seastrum lost his home and business after being diagnosed with leukemia.
With more medical expenses on the way, Seastrum, whose wife is disabled, has yet to pay off some of his previous treatments.
"With out-of-pocket expenses, the co-pays, it's just thousands of dollars in expenses," Nickerson said. "He's still paying off Roswell (Park) from his leukemia."
Seastrum, a Jamestown-born man, has two children, two stepchildren and five grandchildren. Despite his recent medical challenges, he's still working from home.
"He's trying to work," Nickerson said, noting her brother became a self-taught engineer. "He has worked hard his whole life. He's trying to fight this."
In hopes of offsetting Seastrum's medical expenses, the Falconer Rod and Gun Club will host a benefit for him Sunday, Feb. 19. The benefit will run from 2 to 7 p.m. The admission price will be $5 for adults, and children under 12 won't be charged.
"He was a little upset with me when he found out I was planning this benefit," Nickerson said. "He's not one to ask for help. He tries to do it all himself."
The day's highlights will include entertainment from area clown JJ Jingles, a chili cook-off, a pie auction, a basket raffle and a door-prize drawing. Salad, bread, coffee or orange drink, samples of chili, and one chance at the door-prize drawing will be included with the price of admission.
Hot dogs and dessert plates will be available for purchase at $1 apiece. A bowl of chili can be purchased for $2.
Those who wish to participate in the chili cook-off will pay an entry fee. The cook-off winner will receive half of all the entry fees.
The Jamestown Rifle Club, which Seastrum is a member of, will sell tickets for a Mossberg Tactical .22.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation, enter the chili cook-off, or help with the benefit can call Nickerson at 665-2837, Pat or Cheryl at 484-9301, or Charlie Cardinale at 267-7875.
Those who choose to make a donation or attend the benefit will help an area man who made helping others a part of his own life, according to Nickerson.
"He's one of the type of guys who if somebody needs something, he's the first one there," she said. "He's always willing to help somebody."