By Chris Edwards
WARREN – Gvantsa Mercer, a young mother and nurse is a familiar face to many Tyler County residents.
Mercer, better known to her colleagues and patients as “G” may have been the one to lend her kind touch and smile to helping care for a loved one at Woodville Health and Rehabilitation Center, where she works as the charge nurse. Mercer, originally from Tbilisi, Georgia, has devoted several years of her young life to caring for others who need a helping hand.
Recently some area residents have decided to lend Mercer a kind and helping hand. Last spring, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, but since the diagnosis she has continued to work while enduring treatments.
After her first round of chemotherapy, Mercer wrote on her Facebook page about the experience and referred to her illness as a “long battle ahead,” and expressed her determination. “I say battle because I am determined to fight and win,” she wrote.
Her friend Taylor Graham said that in spite of her health difficulties “She always keeps a smile on her face and continues to offer herself to others. It’s just who she is.”
Mercer, who at 26, already has a full plate with her career, is also the mother to little Amelia and fiancé to Jacob Landavazo. Graham said that if Mercer isn’t working she is with her family.
Through her initial diagnosis and treatments, Mercer and her family have spent “countless amounts of time and money during the process,” Graham said.
To that end, some of Mercer’s friends have organized a benefit to help offset some of these costs and to allow attendees to enjoy themselves this Friday night. The “Cure Cancer or Bust” fundraiser is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at Triple D Ranch in Warren. The venue is located at 4299 County Road 4800 in Warren.
The event will feature a silent auction, door prizes and more. Tickets are $20 for the event and can be purchased at the Orchard, the Tyler County Booster office, the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce office or directly from any of the event hosts and they can be contacted through the Facebook page for the event.
The ticket purchase also includes a meal courtesy of Smokin’ Aces and outside coolers are permitted with a $20 cover charge.
In addition to all of the other fun for a good cause, there are sure to be some laughs had at the expense of some men in the community who will engage in a little gender-bending fun for the cause. Local businesses are donating decorated bras which the men will model at the event, according to the organizers.
Graham noted that all of the proceeds will go to Mercer and her family. “If you can’t make it to the benefit that evening but would like to contribute, please contact the Tyler County Booster,” she said.
“If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting or getting to know her, then you know that she has a heart and love for people,” Graham said. “Not only for her patients, but everyone she meets.”