‘Making Cancer Disappear’Magic show raising breast cancer awareness
A “Making Cancer Disappear” magic show is set at 7 p.m. July 28 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.
The magic show is a fundraising event for Diane Beeman, a lifelong resident of Fairfield, who is currently undergoing breast cancer treatment at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
Beeman, daughter of Harry and Marie Clark of Fairfield, a 1980 Fairfield High School graduate and a longtime employee of MidWestOne Bank, discovered a suspicious lump in her left breast in March, visited her health provider and insisted on a mammogram even though it hadn’t been a year since her last one.
The mammogram did reveal a lump, and Beeman was diagnosed with breast cancer and referred to University Hospitals for treatment. Her chemotherapy began within a week.
Her sixth and final chemo was today, so now she will be scheduled for surgery to remove the lump and the tissue around it. The surgery will be followed up by radiation treatments — which means Beeman will be making round-trip drives to Iowa City five days a week for four weeks.
“My mom will go with me. She’s been there since the beginning … for every appointment and every treatment,” said Beeman.
Beeman also has received a great deal of support during the last few months from her magician-partner Jesus Rios.
It was Rios who has seen Beeman daily, watching her struggle through emotional and physical ups and downs, administering her blood-thinning “belly shots” and seeing the expenses piling up.
Whenever Beeman’s friends and family asked her what she needed or what they could do to help, she would half-jokingly reply, “I really need a new roof on my house.”
It was Rios who decided to organize the magic show — “an unprecedented fundraiser event in the history of the Midwest” — to both boost Beeman’s spirits and raise funds to help with her treatment and living expenses.
“But I just don’t want it to be about me,” said Beeman. “This is embarrassing.”
To help educate others about breast cancer, she contacted an American Cancer Society representative at University Hospitals, and the organization will be providing 400 informational packets to be distributed during the show.
The show, sponsored in part by MidWestOne Bank, will feature six magicians on stage, including Steve Couch, who specializes in magic and comedy for kids; Keith West, who has performed locally during a Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk at the Sondheim and most recently on the 2013 Greater Jefferson County Fair show arena stage; Ray Thompson, a mentalist; Jonathan May; Victor & Blondie; and Rios, who performs as Mr. Illusion.
The show also will feature as many as 20 additional magicians, including Todd Herbst, a magician in the Quad Cities Magic Club, performing close-up and walk-around magic for audience members.
“I don’t do fundraisers because if I do one, I’d have to do them all … free,” Herbst told Beeman. “But for you, I’ll do it.”
Rios also is planning a raffle, with the prize of a one-hour Mr. Illusion magic show. The raffle tickets will be sold during the benefit show.
Admission to the “Making Cancer Disappear” magic show is $18. Tickets are available from the convention center ticket office at 472- 2787, www.fairfieldacc.com and at the door.