The Beech Grove Volunteer Fire Department held an auction and dinner to raise funds for Beech Grove resident Tony Dant, who was diagnosed with stage three oropharyngeal cancer on April 9.

Oropharyngeal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the oropharynx, according to Symptoms include a continuous sore throat, a lump in the throat, mouth or neck, coughing blood and white patches in the mouth. Treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy and immunotherapy.

Dant’s mother-in-law, Patty Jeffries, said Dant is currently undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatment in Louisville. The treatments began May 3.

“All the proceeds are donated to Tony and Sandy to assist in the expenses to travel daily to the cancer treatment,” Jeffries said. “He will be going to Louisville five days a week for seven weeks. He will be going to the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center.”

Jeffries said Tony and his wife, Sandy, will be taking a leave of absence from their jobs for an extended period of time.

“We had a meeting and talked about different ideas on things that would be good to raise money and we’ve decided on a few things,” Jeffries said. “Everyone was great about providing donations for the auction.”

The final number of money raised from the benefit is still being calculated but so far they have raised around $20,000, Jeffries said. There is no monetary goal for the fundraisers, but whatever money is raised will go directly to the Dant family.

“It’s very heartfelt and very warming and it just shows that there are good people that stand behind you,” Jeffries said. “We appreciate everything.”

Jeffries said Dant is doing “very well,” along with his wife and children, Amy Jo and Jamen.

Other upcoming fundraisers for the family include a Boston butt lunch benefit on May 7 at the Farmers Bank and Trust in Calhoun from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; a DantStrong Poker Run on May 7 at Beech Grove Ball Park in Beech Grove at 10 a.m.; a cornhole tournament on May 8 at Beech Grove Ball Park in Beech Grove at 4 p.m.; a Pedro Tournament at the Beech Grove Fire House on May 22; and an outdoor movie at Beech Grove Ball Park on June 5.

There is an account open at Independence Bank under DantStrong for those who would like to donate to the family.

For more information on Dant and upcoming events, visit the Dant Strong Facebook page.

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