By Cortez Fields
Candles are one of the best ways to create a better atmosphere and keep your house smelling good. They’re a great gift for anyone, and hand-crafted candles often have some of the best quality possible.
Havasu Hardware, a Lake Havasu City store known for it’s tools and hardware, is now selling candles to help a former Lake Havasu local, Philecia La’Bounty, who is battling cancer.
“I am a 32 year old Stage 4 Breast Cancer patient. I was misdiagnosed 2017 because I was told I was too young to have cancer. I was denied two mammograms because I was too young and I was unable to have insurance. I came back a year later because my mass had grown. At that time it went into emergency ultrasound, emergency mammograms, and six biopsies. It was in both my lungs, left breast, lymph nodes and sturnum, ” said La’Bounty.
“Shortly after chemotherapy, I went through six rounds of IV chemo and 100 rounds of Vitamin C infusion. Vitamin C also helps fight cancer and keep your immune system strong. Today is my one year exact anniversary of first year of IV Chemo. Today I am tumor free. I still will always have cancer in my body because it has metastasized which means it’ outside of the margin and in my blood system.”
“So I am on oral chemo 21 days on and 14 days off. I’m also on hormone blockers. Now I’m just trying to put everything back together from the damage of chemo and surgeries. I’ll be on the oral chemo two to five years,” said La’Bounty.
“I’ve become an advocate for young women. This is no longer an older ladies disease, because for years that’s what this was thought of. Every doctors appointment its younger and younger women, girls that are 17-21. We need to fight for better regulations, we should not be told we cannot have a mammogram because we are too young. Fight harder. Pay for it , do a GoFundMe for a mammogram, call clinics. Reach out for other fighters. For fighters going into this, mental health is number one. You have to remain positive,” said La’Bounty.
RiverScene Magazine talked to Erica McCorkle, the general manager and co-owner of Havasu Hardware, to see how this local business is using candles to fight cancer.
McCorkle met La’Bounty through her boyfriend, who came into Havasu Hardware after his tools were stolen. McCorkle donated tools to replace his lost tools to help him keep working, and when he came in to thank McCorkle, she met La’Bounty. Since that initial meeting, McCorkle stayed in contact with La’Bounty, keeping up with her through Facebook. La’Bounty, for her part, was a normal Lake Havasu City girl; while she is originally from Utah, she attended high school in Lake Havasu City and still keeps in contact with members of the community like McCorkle. When she found out La’Bounty was making candles for her cause, McCorkle was completely on-board.
Candles Against Cancer
“When she told me she was making candles, I said I wanted 100 of them, and I told her if she brought them, I would cut her a check.”
La’Bounty brought the candles, and McCorkle has been selling them ever since. The candles are all completely handmade by La’Bounty. La’Bounty makes the wax, and wicks and the jars for the candles. The young woman said she needed a creative outlet to keep her mind busy from her condition. The candles sell for $20 each, and La’Bounty also recycles the candle jars if they’re brought back to Havasu Hardware. She’s working on starting a new line of candles that are minis, which will sell for $5.
Currently, Havasu Hardware is the only brick and mortar store to carry La’Bounty’s candles. While La’Bounty’s candles are already a step in the fight against cancer, Havasu Hardware is also selling artwork from another local artist to help.
A Little Girl Lends a Helping Hand
Juliet McCorkle, the daughter of Erica McCorkle, is also trying to help stand up to cancer. The 8-year-old little girl started selling her own pictures to help raise money and awareness about cancer. McCorkle says he daughter started selling them by herself and raised a significant amount of money.
“She was just selling what she made and it was her own thing, and the next thing I know she hands me a handful of cash. (She) had made almost $200 for selling pictures in one day.”
McCorkle decided to capitalize on her daughter’s success and now Juliet McCorkle sells her pictures for $10 in the store. She does commissions when she can, but she’s still a little girl. McCorkle says her daughter was motivated to start selling pictures because she has two family friends who are also battling cancer, and her grandfather passed away from cancer last Christmas.
The money she has raised so far goes to another Havasu local, Robert Chase, who is fighting cancer. Chase is a veteran and his daughter also works for Havasu Hardware. This is just another local step in the fight against cancer in Lake Havasu City.
Find Them at Havasu Hardware
To buy a candle to help La’Bounty, come in Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and on Sunday they are available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2059 McCulloch Blvd. Anyone also interested in Juliet’s drawings can call 928-855-2120 or check out their Facebook page @HavasuHardware.
To learn more about Philecia and her journey, visit her website fightforphilecia.com Philecia La’Bounty can also be contacted via her Instagram Page.
For Those In Need Of A Mammogram
If you are uninsured or have a high deductable on your insurence and are looking for help for a mammogram, contact North Country Health Care in Lake Havasu for more information on their Well Woman Checkup. North Country also covers Pap Smears as well. Their number is 928-505-7550.
Havasu Community Health Foundation also provides mammograms for $40 and it is performed at Havasu Regional Medical Center. The Cancer Association of Havasu will pick up the rest of the cost beyond the $40 through HCHF. For further information please contact HCHF at 928-453-8190.
For information on Denise’s Day, visit their website http://www.denisesdaylhc.org/