Fundraiser to benefit Archdale man in need of stem cell transplant

Nov. 21, 2013 @ 04:32 PM

Steve and Amy Lax recognize the irony of their story.
In 2006, Amy lost her husband, Leonard Bazen, to colon cancer. The following year, Steve lost his wife, Leecia, to ovarian cancer.
Amy and Steve were strangers at the time, each of them intent on raising their two children, and neither of them had any desire to get into another relationship.
Early in 2009, though, mutual friends intervened — or was it God? — and introduced them. They fell in love, and two years later they got married.
That’s the sweet part of the Archdale couple’s story.
The ironic part of the tale is this: In May, Steve was diagnosed with large cell lymphoma, and the couple found themselves battling cancer again.
After an intense regimen of chemotherapy, Steve has been declared cancer-free again, and he’s preparing for a stem cell transplant sometime next month at Duke University Medical Center, in hopes of preventing a recurrence of the lymphoma.
In the meantime, family and friends have rallied around the couple with emotional support, and now they’re offering financial support in the form of a benefit supper to assist with the couple’s medical expenses. The supper will be held Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the couple’s church, Archdale United Methodist.
“They’re looking at having to pay as much as $50,000 out of pocket — and it could be as much as $100,000 — so we’re doing this fundraiser to try and offset some of those expenses,” says Amy’s sister, Sheila Embler, who is one of the event organizers.
In addition to the country ham and pinto bean supper, there will be a live auction at 7 p.m., featuring a 50-inch television, a World War II collectible gun, and two sets of living room furniture.
There will also be a silent auction, with such items as furniture, appliances, a Petty Racing driving package, multiple gift certificates and much more.
A bake sale will also be held, and live entertainment will be provided throughout the event.
“We’re just overwhelmed by all the kindness that has been shown to us,” Amy says. “People have done so much to help us.”
Steve and Amy met in January 2009, when they were introduced to one another by some mutual friends.
“They kept persisting and finally got us together,” Amy recalls, “and it’s been awesome. It was a meant-to-be thing, and God has had his hand over our relationship from the beginning. Neither of us had wanted another relationship, but we knew pretty much from the beginning that this one was meant to be.”
As evidence, Amy mentions a Bible verse that had been on her desk since her husband’s battle against cancer. The verse, Proverbs 3:5-6, states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Not long after the couple had begun dating, Amy continues, she was at Steve’s house and found the exact same verse on his refrigerator.
“His wife had put it there not long before she passed away,” Amy says, “and at that moment, we knew it was a meant-to-be thing.”
The couple got married in April 2011. From their previous marriages, they have four children — Chad and Lindsey Bazen, and Brittany and Zach Lax.
The news of Steve’s cancer came just before the couple’s two-year wedding anniversary. Steve got so sick that he had to sell his insurance agency, while Amy has continued working as an operations manager for Cone Health.
After undergoing chemo, he is now cancer-free and preparing for the stem cell transplant next month.
It’s been a difficult journey, Amy says — and the road ahead may still be rough — but the couple remain optimistic.
“God has been good through all of this — he’s carried us every step of the way,” she says. “We have faith that this is going to turn out great, and we’re going to grow old together.”
jtomlin@hpe.com | 888-3579

Want to go?

“A Celebration of Faith, Hope, Love & God’s Strength,” a benefit supper for Steve and Amy Lax, will be held Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Archdale United Methodist Church, 11543 N. Main St., Archdale.
The menu will include country ham, pinto beans, slaw, hush puppies, drinks and desserts. Takeouts will be available.
There will also be live and silent auctions, a bake sale, and live entertainment.
Admission is by donation. All proceeds will go to the Steve Lax Medical Fund.
For those who cannot attend but would like to make a donation, checks should be made payable to the Steve Lax Medical Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 1149, Linwood, NC 27299.