Warrior Stronger Than Cancer

UPDATED: Erica Kuneki

April 2 @ 2 pm

Erica is at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland with her mom and dad. This morning she was more spunky, gave her mom a hard time (Believe me that’s a good thing). Erica has found some relief from the pain and other problems, is able to move her legs more easily.



April 1,2019 @ 10:35 pm

Many people, family and close friends, came and went all day on Monday. Folks from many faiths and cultures were praying and singing for Erica. Friends from school and the neighborhood were making her laugh, and vice versa, or crying with her mom. She just now headed out on the ambulance to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, with her mom following. They’re going to try to help her get better control of the pain and other problems, and it’s in Gods hands next. He knows the bigger picture, whether it’s better to take Erica back to heaven so she’s out of pain, or bring her a miracle and heal her. I was totally humbled by how many different people came; different colors , languages, cultures, and ages but all with the same prayers from the heart. This girl not quite 19 yet has touched so many hearts in her short life. She was always looking out for other people, especially those who would forget to take care of themselves. Even today, she spoke very few words and two words were to remind someone else to eat.

Erica will be 19 on April 5.

There were some powerful prayers spoken or sung on Monday and in at least five different languages. Whether it be for a miracle healing or for comfort and ease of passing, the prayers were all from the heart.

There are 3 ways people can help by donating.

1. If you live anywhere near an Umpqua Bank, go in and tell them you want to donate to an account called “Stronger than Cancer” for you are using a check, make it out to Elsa Spence. Or, mail a check to Elsa for “Stronger than Cancer”.

“Stronger than Cancer”

Donations For Erica Kuneki

Umpqua Bank

PO Box 67

White Salmon, WA



Bank Located at 73 NE Estes St in White Salmon


2. Anyone that wanted to send a personal card and/or donation to Elsa Spence and her daughter Erica Kuneki (she is 18 by the way, and turns 19 April 5). Elsa also just had a birthday in late March.

Send it to :

Elsa Spence

Erica Kuneki

Po Box 778

Bingen, WA 98605



Updated. Erica Kuneki story as of March 30,2019


Erica has kept up her spirits as things progress but the cancer has kept marching on relentlessly. She has been able to stay home, with her mother taking care of her. [Read The original story and previous updates down below this update]

Elsa also continues to work as a caregiver part time with Senior Services, but of course her main priority is her daughter, who is literally fighting for her life. They can still use your help and support to help cover expenses not covered by insurance.

Elsa and Erica say THANK YOU to everyone who has helped in so many different ways. They are so incredibly grateful. This is an independent gal who’s used to doing everything herself for her and her family. Having so much community support is such a blessing right now.


Erica is not fond of having her picture taken at this time. However Elsa and I took this picture last week of us two.

Darlisa Black and Elsa Spence March 2019


Updated January 10,2019


The Story: “Stronger than Cancer”. Erica Kuneki, a young Native American girl currently 18 years old, is fighting Osteosarcoma, bone cancer. A few months ago when it seemed like the cancer was doing better, it jumped to soft tissue and new tumors showed up. More rounds of chemo and radiation nearly killed her, and she took a long rest from treatment. Recently, however, inflammation showed up in her bones again and she became very ill. They opted to do a weeks worth of radiation therapy. Now, As of the fourth day of radiation she started feeling quite a bit better so we are feeling hopeful again. In fact, she sounded remarkably energetic over the phone tonight, laughing at a funny movie.

Unfortunately, while at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at OHSU in Portland this week, someone broke into Elsa Spence’s car in the parking garage. The girls had just gotten there and were already stressed and accidentally left Erica’s wallet in the car. She had all her Christmas gift money in the wallet, so it was a mighty big blow emotionally.

Erica had saved up her money for a trip to New Jersey that will be provided by the Make a Wish Foundation. She wanted to be able to buy souvenirs or special treats. All of her money was taken and the wallet was left laying somewhere on hospital grounds. Someone turned it in to the security.

Elsa made this Facebook live video:


Click image to see Elsa’s Video about the car burglary

I keep dreaming that someone with a little extra money would help sponsor this local Native American girl, whose family lived in the valley for many generations fishing on the river. While theoretically the tribe helps people in situations like this, the truth is people this far away from the reservation often slip through the cracks.

❤ ❤

DONATIONS: There are now several options for helping financially. See above under the new update for links and addresses

Or if you see them around town feel free to say hello and tell them you have been following their story on here! Maybe slip Elsa a few $$ for gas.

It takes a whole Village to raise a Child. We are asking for your help with a particular child/ young woman and her family’s needs. Be the Village 😉 😀 A huge thank you to various people who have helped in the past with donations

Erica Kuneki gets interviewed by Christine Pitawanich/KGW Channel 8 News Christine Pitawanich/KGW and Erica Kuneki

Click on the image below to go to the original post about Erica for full updates and new photos.

Photo of Erica Kuneki at her eighth grade graduation. Click on the image to go to the original stronger than cancer post. The original post has been updatedPhoto of Erica Kuneki at her eighth grade graduation. Click on the image to go to the original stronger than cancer post. The original post has been updated

Firefighters offer Ways to Help.

“When you want to help….

In a time of crisis people naturally want to reach out and help.  We appreciate those efforts and have a few suggestions for you to consider.

Most appreciated by firefighters:

●       Thank you notes and banners

●       Donations to local recovery efforts

●       Donations to Wildland Firefighter Foundation:  http://www.wffoundation.org

Other ideas:

●       Join or support your local fire department or emergency organizations- they appreciate your generosity since they are the first responders in many cases.

●       Donate to local charitable organizations like the Red Cross.

●       Donate to local food banks, which sometimes get forgotten when fires impact a community.

●       Create and maintain a defensible space around your home!  Give emergency responders and yourself a safe area to defend your home in or retreat to, if necessary.

Note: Fire camps cannot accept food items due to health and federal contract regulations.  We feed our assigned fire crews three meals a day plus snacks.”

Information copied with slight modifications from this NWCC Blog post on Southern Oregon Fires August 24,2018

NWCC Home:

Click here for NWCC home

Photo of Klondike Fire in southern Oregon. Clicking on the photo will take you to the Inciweb site, A great resource for large fire information. Clicking on the photo will take you to the Inciweb site, A great resource for large fire information.

Loss of Baby Comstock

Help with Baby Comstock Funeral and Family expenses during this time.


On July 18, 2018, little four month old Finlee Andrew Comstock died unexpectedly and suddenly, leaving his parents Derek and Palace in total shock and grief, with no money for funeral or burial.

Through Generous donations , so far enough money has been raised to cover funeral costs. The donation request continues to help the family deal with lost wages etc. during this time.



Also an account has been setup at a local bank for those of you who do not like GoFundMe because of the fees they take out.

And for locals near Dallesport, WA, the local all volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a Spaghetti Dinner as a fundraiser. Little Finlee’s father Derek is a volunteer Firefighter in the Department in Dallesport. This will be Saturday, August 4, 5-9 PM

At the Dallesport Fire Department, 630 Central Blvd., Dallesport, WA, 98617


ALL of these photos are part of a BIDDING AUCTION TO HELP WITH RECOVERY EFFORTS FOLLOWING WASHINGTON WILDFIRES…. The auction ends today, September 20, Sunday… at 7:00 pm PST

Here is a link to the Facebook page the auction is on, you do have to have a Facebook account to join in, and you must join the group to bid:

Auction for Survivors of WA Wildfires

after joining, go to THIS ALBUM PAGE to see all the photos available for bidding!

Auction Items Album Page to help those who lost homes to the fires

and join in the fun!   There is only a very short time left however… less than THREE HOURS!

Here are samples of all photos  #Auction4Wildfires

Successful Art For Oso Photography Auction Fundraiser

Art For Oso photography auction on Facebook


ROUND 2 CLOSED. ROUND #3 COMING SOON!  Successful Facebook based Photography Auction Fundraiser to benefit the mudslide recovery process in Oso and Darrington, Washington.  This fast growing grassroots event started by Justin Kraemer on Facebook, has grown to a group of over 1500 in just over a week, with other volunteers stepping up to the plate very quickly to help organize and do behind the scenes data entry.  Round one started as a Facebook event, with 170 photos donated by many people in the area, and accumulated bids of $8,500. 100% of proceeds were donated directly into the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation fund set up for mudslide relief in the local Arlington Bank. (link below).

Round two was a  Group based fundraising effort on Facebook for better tracking and control,  a new Group called Art For Oso was set up just for the Fundraiser, and can be found in a link below called Art For Oso Group page.  Many  local Pros such as Aaron Reed in round 1 auction), and Gary Randall, Kevin McNeal, and Darren White (in round 2),  as well as many very talented hobbyists from around the PNW, donated 1-2 prints, (some on metal or canvas, some as prints,)  and we auctioned 146  prints of great quality.  Round 2 ran from APRIL 4 AT 6 PM PST through APRIL 7 at 9 PM PST  and raised over  $13,580 in addition to previous $8,500

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* LINKS:      “Art For Oso”   Group page on Facebook set up for the fundraiser auctions.  Link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/artforoso/

Art for Oso Facebook page, click on photo to go to group in a new tab

Art for Oso Facebook page, click on photo to go to group in a new tab


This link is for the youcaring.com website link for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation emergency fund for Oso, Washington

Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation Fundraiser website.  People will pay directly into this fund, not through this group or administrators.

youcaring.com website link for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation emergency fund for Oso, Washington

click on the photo for the youcaring.com website link for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation emergency fund for Oso, Washington



Facebook link for the Photo Album from the Round 2 Auction in Art For Oso

This link is for the Facebook photo album from Round 2, and can still be viewed to give you an idea of how this works.  Bidding however has been closed.


Below are images snipped from the album of 146 images, for those who are not on Facebook and yet are curious what images are being auctioned!

Click on any image to see it larger.  To see the album itself you need to be on Facebook and click on the links above

Click on any image to see it larger. To see the album itself you need to be on Facebook and click on the links above












#530slidephotographyauction  #artforoso  #osostrong

Thank you,  volunteer staff member Darlisa Black  www.starlisa.net


A Plea for Help for my Niece who is Ill and Broke Down Far from Home

a photo by my other niece Christee Kyte of My wonderful niece Erin Kyte Huerta,

and her husband Melecio drove up to Washington from Utah to visit my sister.  Both mother and daughter have very bad health problems but really needed to see each other.  Erin had just purchased a used car, and when they left here to travel back to Utah the van broke down in the Blue Mountains, and was towed from LaGrande, Oregon back to Pendleton where the van stayed at a shop.  The vehicle is supposedly under warrenty, but the company is really dragging their heels, insisting the van will have to be looked at by their own mechanics in Utah.  Erin had just enough to rent a car for a few days and come back to White Salmon to her mom’s house where we are struggling to find a way to get her back home before she loses her job.  Money is a huge issue… the mechanic in Pendleton wants $2000 to even begin work on the Transmission problem, and estimates $4000 to fix it. It is supposed to be under Warrenty but the warrenty company in Utah is refusing to honor it until the mechanic tears it apart to verify the problem.  Bus tickets are more than we can scrape up, and leave us with the problem of what to do with her dog as well as all her stuff.


Erin is a youngster by my standards… only 36 years old, and has to wear Oxygen all the time and haul a condensor around with her everywhere she goes.  She has a disease called Pulmonary Hypertension, which she was told is Terminal… and so far she has been continuing to work at her job with a trucking company in Utah in order to make ends meet and keep a home. Being trapped here with the money used up is being very stressful!

So….. this is a plea.  If you can help her out at all the above donate button is linked directly to HER Paypal account (not mine) .  Also if you happen to be in the White Salmon area and would be interested in adopting a sweet but somewhat hyper young dog that is a cross between Black Lab and Border Collie, please contact us!  Erin’s email is hotrodcutie@gmail.com

and in her own words:
“I don’t like asking for money, but, in thiis case I really need all the help I can get. I decieded to make a trip to Washington to see my mom, family, friends, etc. And in the process of going home. My POS van broke down. I have a dog border collie-lab mix. Her name is Brandy. The only amount of money is just about the amount to get me on a bus. In which case I have to abandon my dog, in hopes to save my job and my husbands job. Yes, I do have pulmonary arterial hypertension. I have verry little energy as, this lung disease knock’s it right out of me. And with the stress of not knowing if I can get back to my job ok, has me with very little energy. Not to mention it is bad on my heart failure. If you can help, please do so. Anything will be appreciated. Thank you. ”