Northwoods opening doors and hearts for Sara Struger

Sara Strugar is a woman who is always chasing adventures, bringing joy and laughter to everyone who is blessed with meeting her. Recently diagnosed with cancer, she needs her community’s help, and her community is coming together.

From 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 8, Northwoods Tavern, 461 Deep Creek Loop, Naples, will host a benefit for Sara featuring a cornhole tournament, DJ Kyle Murphy, a silent auction, a dinner and live music with Shiloh Rising.

There are awesome auction items from individuals and businesses in our great community – amazing gift baskets, white tail deer head mount, log truck of buckskin tamarack, hand forged axe and gift certificates, just to name a few!

All are welcome.

She enjoys hiking, fishing, road trips in her truck, spending time with friends and hanging out with her brothers. For the past three years, she has worked on the Bering Sea as a marine biologist and later as part of a ship crew.

While out at sea, Sara became very ill.

On November 9, 2020, Sara was able to get in to see a doctor in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. During the appointment they discovered fluid in her chest and a collapsed lung. The clinic staff treated her there until the weather calmed enough to allow for travel.

When weather allowed, Sara was transferred to Anchorage on November 11, where various tests were run. During this time, results showed a tumor of 13.9 centimeters located in her abdomen, below the diaphragm with part of it pressing on her heart.

Doctors were able to put in a chest tube to drain fluid and give her the opportunity to breathe.

Doctors in Anchorage identified the tumor as a sarcoma, but the type had yet to be determined. A biopsy was sent to the Mayo Clinic and Sara was sent to a Sarcoma Center, Oregon Health and Science University hospital, Portland, Oregon, on Thanksgiving Day.

Shiloh Rising

Sara waited for days and days for a diagnosis to be made as the tumor continued to grow. She was finally diagnosed with Spindle Cell Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type cancer that is particularly dangerous in adults.

She was started on a routine chemotherapy treatment.

It was ruled a failure when test results indicated the tumor had continued to grow an additional four centimeters after being originally identified.

Even though the nature of the type of sarcoma is aggressive and fast moving, Sara has decided to fight through and kick this in the ass. Sara is making the choice daily to remain healthy and keep a positive attitude during this battle.

You can follow her through these difficult times and offer support along the way at Caring Bridge. A GoFundMe account has been established to help her with ever-mounting expenses.

To learn more about the Northwoods benefit, to donate or to offer help, call Laura Kimball, (208) 610-9354, or Savannah Bryant, (208) 610-2294.