Community Helping Reno Family Cope With Tragedy

By: Daniel Chanin Email
By: Daniel Chanin Email

Pancreatic cancer definitely isn't the most publicized form of the disease, but it is one of the deadliest. As one local family struggles to come to terms with the harsh statistics, their community wants them to know, they're here to help.

On Saturday night, nearly 40 friends and family members gathered at Diana Harvey's home to fill her yard with Christmas decorations and sing holiday songs.

"It brings joy to our hearts," says Roy Harvey, Diana's husband. "To see the support of the community...it's quite overwhelming."

Harvey is one of many people who got emotional at the special reception.

In July, doctors diagnosed the 44-year-old with stage four pancreatic cancer and told her she had six months to live. Her friends and family have since dedicated most of their time to taking care of her and her two children.

"It brought tears to a lot of people here tonight," says Harvey. "Her children will always remember it too. To see the affect their mom had on these folks, it's special."

The couple's seven-year-old daughter Rebecca suffers from down syndrome, which led Diana to start helping children and other students with similar disabilities. She recently worked as a supervisor for the University of Nevada's Center for Excellence in Disabilities.

"Diana has always been such a giving person," says Roy. "And to be on the other side of the equation is something I'll remember for the rest of my days."

Roy knows the road ahead for him and his two children won't be easy, but the support he's received goes a very long way.

"You want to keep the kids level-headed. This will enable us as a family to move on, as the cancer takes over."


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