Community rallies around Logan woman diagnosed with brain cancer

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LOGAN — When Lesley Jensen was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma, the same type of aggressive brain cancer right-to-die activist Brittany Maynard had, she says she at first kept the news to herself. But some close friends eventually changed that.

"Once I decided to let people in, it's amazing what happens," Jensen said. "It was just overwhelming to see the love and support."

Jensen had already made the decision to live. She's fighting the odds with treatments, partly for her 6-year-old daughter McKenna.

"She's my little angel," Jensen said. "I don't have a choice in this. I just have to get up every day and keep going."

Last Monday, friends and former co-workers surprised Jensen in a big way. The owner of Cafe Sabor, Justin Hamilton, organized a fundraiser at the restaurant. All proceeds that night would go toward treatments for Jensen. Jensen worked at the restaurant for eight years.

"We just wanted her to know that she has a huge group of people that rally behind her and support her," Hamilton said. "No matter what challenges you go through in life, that's what you have. You have to be optimistic, and you have to have hope that tomorrow's gonna be a better day."

I'm not going to take life for granted. I'm going to live every day and love life, and my little girl.

–Lesley Jensen

Both Hamilton and Jensen were surprised Monday night when some 1,700 customers showed up. Jensen says some people waited an hour to get a table, and almost as long to get their food afterwards.

"People are amazing," Jensen said. "I've never learned it's never about one person in life."

About $16,500 in proceeds were donated to Cache Valley for Hope Foundation, which will now use the money for Jensen's treatments. Wait staff also worked for free Monday night, volunteering their time.

"I think it exceeded everybody's expectation, just to see how many people love and care about Lesley," Hamilton said.

Along with some added happiness, Jensen says the outpouring of support showed her something else.

"Everything does happen for a reason," Jensen said.

She says the experience has taught her to change her perspective about life and her diagnosis.

"I'm not going to take life for granted," Jensen said. "I'm going to live every day and love life, and my little girl."


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