A trip to the doctor for a possible spider bite turned into something more for a person who attended Friday night's Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO) Pink Ribbon Gala at Downstream Casino Resort.
"I just found out a month ago I have stage 3 breast cancer," said Kelly Evans, Joplin.

A trip to the doctor for a possible spider bite turned into something more for a person who attended Friday night's Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO) Pink Ribbon Gala at Downstream Casino Resort.
"I just found out a month ago I have stage 3 breast cancer," said Kelly Evans, Joplin. "First off I thought that I was bitten by a spider, I went to the doctor, he took a biopsy and it came back positive for breast cancer (on June 22).
"He got me in touch with fabulous cancer doctor. I go through three months of chemo and then I go into surgery to have the breast removed. It is in my left breast," Evans said.
She said that her sister and niece both had breast cancer.
"Both my niece and my sister, my niece passed away first she fought it for six years, she passed away when she was 31," she said. "My sister passed away a year and a half ago at the age of 57 and I am 57."
Friday night's gala included a Hawaiian theme where people could come in Hawaiian attire. They were treated to an authentic Hawaiian dinner and participated in silent and live auctions.
The money raised goes to a good cause.
According to BCFO outreach director Kristi Seibert in a previous interview with the Daily News,
“One hundred percent of funds raised stay in our area," said Kristi Seibert, outreach director for BCFO.
The money goes to pay for screening mammograms for the uninsured/under insured; help patients going through active breast cancer treatment with the BCFO Client Assistance Program — house payments, car payments, utilities, and other necessary household living expenses, she said.
This was Evans first time to the gala. She  applauded the participants for attending and help to raise money for BCFO and to help to breast cancer patients.
"It is wonderful because me and my husband have no insurance," she said. "I did qualify for assistance, so that helps," Evans said. "I think that it (foundation) is wonderful. I really do, because there are people like me that don't have any insurance or benefits."
Evans stated that she has done mammograms over the years and encourages others to do so.
"It is very important. I don't care if my 16-year old granddaughters go for it, they need to," said Evans. "I don't care what age they are. They need to be protected. I had them (mammograms) for years, this just popped up within a few months, probably six months."
Through her cancer journey, Evans said she has had some great moral support ranging from her husband, to her children and extended family and co-workers.
"They are there for me, I truly appreciate it," she said. Evans offered advice to others.
"Keep your spirits up. Because that is what it is going to take," she said. "Don’t get down, because it really is no picnic. You have to keep your spirits up."
Evans said every female needs to have to be tested for the gene.
"Because that is one thing that I didn't do, get tested for the gene," she said. "My sister told me that she was the one that carried the gene, so I didn't even think about getting that test done. And here I am, fighting, and I will fight."

About BCFO
The Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks is a resource for individuals and families in Southwest Missouri who are impacted by breast cancer.
The foundation offers personal support and comfort in real and practical ways, providing support networks, mentor programs, a full range of resources regarding breast cancer awareness, diagnosis and treatment where to find related community services and more.
Each year, fundraisers have been held both in the Joplin, Springfield areas and even in Seneca.
For more information, call Kristi Seibert at 417-434-2200.