The woman who has spearheaded the effort in Bayfield to find missing teen Dylan Redwine has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
Denise Hess founded Hope for Dylan Redwine shortly after he was reported missing from Vallecito Nov. 19. Since then, she has led search efforts and hosted fundraisers for the Find Dylan Redwine Fund.
“As early as two weeks ago, she was out climbing Middle Mountain looking for Dylan,” said friend Lorrie Vallencia. “She just put her whole life on hold.”
Now the community is coming to her aid and hosting a fundraiser this weekend to raise money for Hess’ medical and general expenses while she undergoes treatment.
A bake sale will be held at Brenda’s Old West Cafe in Bayfield from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday and 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Benefit accounts have also been set up at First National Bank where the proceeds will go to pay for medical expenses and at Pine River Valley Bank in Bayfield for her general living expenses.
Hess started feeling sick about two weeks ago, and was diagnosed shortly after. She underwent her first round of chemotherapy Wednesday morning, Vallencia said.
Hess will stay involved in the search for Dylan throughout her treatment.
“This might slow me down a little, but I have no intention of allowing it to knock me down so hard that I can’t continue in the fight to bring my friends’ beautiful boy home where he belongs,” she wrote in a letter to friends before starting chemotherapy.