Stepping up for Tessie

Tessie Goheen has known for quite some time the deck was stacked against her when it came to her odds of having to wage her own battle against cancer.

Her father, Paul Goheen, lost his courageous fight against the deadly disease and her two sisters have or had cancer. Tessie, 20, is now engaged in her own battle against breast cancer. Although it’s changed her future plans slightly, she remains committed to helping others and increasing cancer awareness at a time when most people might be reclusive. She has become an even more visible advocate for those coping with the disease.

“I’m doing pretty good,” Tessie said Wednesday evening. “I’m in my seventh week of treatment.”

Being diagnosed with the disease meant transferring from Pacific Lutheran University, where she was studying nursing, and returning to Bremerton to attend classes at Olympic College in the fall, she said.

“I’m glad to be back in Bremerton,” she said, adding that the community has been extremely supportive of her and her family as they travel back and forth to Seattle for treatment.

A hot dog fundraiser earlier this month raised several hundred dollars to help with her personal efforts to start a nonprofit cancer resource center in Bremerton, and two fundraisers are planned this weekend.

The first is today at the Bremerton Elks Lodge on Pine Road in East Bremerton, which is a spaghetti feed and silent auction.

The second is tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Panda Inn Mongolian BBQ in East Bremerton. The suggested donation is $10, and all the proceeds from that event will go toward the family’s growing medical expenses.

She has a MySpace page set up for her proposed cancer support center at and she can be reached by e-mail at

For the less tech savvy, who want to help the family, donations may be made at any Washington Mutual branch, account number 3580989968.

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