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Community raises $4,000 for Town of Niagara woman battling rare cancer

Harmony Heim is asking the community to give whatever they can to help save her life
Posted at 5:42 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 09:04:38-05

TOWN OF NIAGARA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Whether she’s talking to a group of college students at Canisius, one of her three children or coaching her little league softball team,
Harmony Heim from the Town of Niagara focuses on one thing.

“That there’s a no quit attitude," said Heim.

She’s all about keeping up the fight and at 42, she’s in the middle of the battle of her life. Nearly three years ago, she was diagnosed with appendix cancer.

Harmony and her family love to get outdoors in WNY
Harmony and her family love to get outdoors in WNY

“Later, we found out it was aggressive, on top of just being cancer and it just kind of blew my world apart," said Heim.

She’s now in stage four. According to the University of Chicago, appendix cancer is so rare—it affects fewer than 2,000 Americans each year.

“It just scared the daylights out of me. Because I knew it was just gonna be an uphill battle. But then I just remembered my opening day speeches to all my girls for softball and I will continue to fight, that carries me through," said Heim.

She’s had surgeries and chemotherapy at Mount St. Mary’s and Roswell Park here in WNY, with no luck. So now she’s working with doctors at the University of Chicago who specialize in treating this rare cancer.

She says this could be her last chance.

“It’s not a miracle, it’s not a guarantee, but it’s hope to just buy me time. The most important thing to me is making it to my youngest’s graduation. That’s three years away. That’s all I’m hoping for," said Heim.

At this point, Harmony can no longer work and between medical bills and flight costs, she and her husband Rich are not sure they’ll have enough.

The Heim family worries this could be Harmony's last chance
The Heim family worries this could be Harmony's last chance

"With everything going on, we’ve dwindled our savings down and now this is our last resort. We’re not the type to ask, but I just want to have her around longer," said Richard Heim.

Friends and family started a GoFundMe page and Facebook pages called Team Harmony. They also started selling t-shirts, masks and hoodies to get her to Chicago.

Her former coworkers and employer are pitching in and so far, they’re at over $4,000.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I don't know if we’ll meet the goals and I don't know what the future holds, but every little bit counts. The one thing I want everyone to take from this is to never give up hope. Never,” said Heim.

The next step for Harmony is to meet virtually with surgeons and they’re going to fly out there as soon as they can. Doctors told her she would need to fly out there at least six more times for treatment, so that’s why they their fundraising goal is $50,000.