Fundraiser to assist with late beautician’s medical bills

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Stephanie Chapman was a blessing and an inspiration to all who knew her, say her friends. She dedicated her life to helping and giving to others. As a beautician for years, she used her profession to connect on a deeper level with those who sat in her chair. 

However, a surprising cancer diagnosis took her away from her beloved family and friends far too soon. At only 57 years old, high-grade leiomyosarcoma stole her life.

Chapman was diagnosed in April and soon after had tumors on her intestines removed. Even though they believed all the cancer had been removed, by September it had metastasized. The cancer was aggressive and fast-moving. On Nov. 1, Chapman was admitted to inpatient hospice care. 

The day after her favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, Chapman passed away.

Her close friend, Kelly Peebles, knew and worked with her for 20 years. 

“Stephanie was an amazing woman and loved by so many clients, friends and family. She worked even the morning of the day she found out the cancer was terminal. She was a fighter and had the best attitude the whole way. She was thankful to God for everything, even while suffering in pain,” she says.

Unfortunately, Chapman had no health insurance and the medical bills stacked up quickly. Because she was so supportive of others and always giving of herself, her time and her money, her friends want to give back to her family, too.

Kelly Bates, owner of Kelly B’s Restaurant, considered Chapman to be her best friend, a friendship born during one of Kelly’s hardest times.

“Years back, I went through a bad trial, and she pulled me back up,” Bates said. “I went in to see her for a hair appointment and she gave me some tough love. Then, she made me a huge gift basket with everything I needed for my hair. She said she just wanted to let me know that she believed in me. That stuck with me. She made me more giving.”

Kelly B’s the Mineola Country Club will be having a benefit pancake breakfast on Saturday, Jan. 11, from 8 a.m.-noon. The meal is for donations only. The proceeds will go toward outstanding medical bills with a portion being donated to hospice for the excellent care they took of Chapman and to APET because of her love of animals.

In conjunction with the benefit breakfast, the UT Health East Texas digital mammography unit will also be in front of the country club on Saturday. Even though Chapman did not have breast cancer, her friends and family want to encourage regular health screenings and early detection.

To schedule a mammogram appointment, contact Stacy Hope at 903-316-7876 or Kelly Peebles at 903-245-7825.

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