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Benefit for Linda Aielts set for Friday

WORTHINGTON -- Alvin Aielts goes to visit his wife, Linda, two or three times a day, often bringing her fresh fruits and vegetables he hopes will have a healing effect on her body.

Linda, now a resident at South Shore Care Center, is battling an aggressive cancer that has spread to her brain, and so far no treatment has been able to stop its progression.

The cancer diagnosis came after Linda found a lump in her breast.

"It's going on the second year," Alvin explained. "She'd been through one chemo that didn't work, one mastectomy and then she went through another chemo that didn't do much. She had a bad seizure three weeks ago and was airlifted to Sioux Falls."

It was determined the cancer had spread to her brain, causing the seizure, and her condition continued to deteriorate.

"I fought like heck to keep her at home," said Alvin about the decision to move her to a care facility. "But I couldn't handle things, and she got really confused."

The Aielts have exhausted all treatment options, but Alvin keeps hoping a miracle will make his wife healthy again.

"I've called Rochester and a few other places, and they claim they can't do anything that hasn't already been done," he said. "If anybody knows any new ideas on how to survive cancer, I'd sure like to know about it."

Linda and Alvin have been married for 28 years. She has two sons from a previous marriage and now three grandchildren and two step grandchildren.

After moving to Worthington from Truman, Linda worked for a time at McDonalds and also did housecleaning and personal care jobs.

"She spent her whole life doing stuff for others," said Alvin, noting especially her affinity for taking care of animals. "She has a couple of stray cats that I'd like to find good homes for."

Before her illness, Linda could often be found hanging out at Perkins restaurant.

"I used to come home, and the car would be gone, and I'd think, 'Doesn't that woman ever stay home?'" said Alvin, who is a commercial driver for the Daily Globe. "Now, I come home and the car is sitting there, and now I wish it wouldn't be, that she'd just be out at Perkins."

But Alvin is grateful for the time they've had together and the memories they've shared. In particular, he's nostalgic about trips they made to the Surf Ballroom in Mason City, Iowa, and the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa.

"My advice is don't put things off too long," he said. "Do it now whether you can afford it or not. Do it now or you might not have somebody to take."

A benefit supper to help the Aielts with medical expenses will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Abundant Life Tabernacle, 627 Clary St.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

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