A, Sunday, April 28 Benefit Breakfast is planned for the Eli and Ashley Mathern Family. The benefit will be held in the Garwin City Park Shelter House from 8 to 11 AM and will be a free will offering. The event is sponsored by the Garwin Revitalization Committee.
The Breakfast will feature Belgium Waffles, Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy, Sausage, Toast, Coffee and Juice. The public is encouraged to attend and offer their support for this young family.
Ashley is currently undergoing radiation treatments in Iowa City following the removal of a schenoid wing meningioma on Jan. 24. The brain tumor was wrapped around an artery and could not be totally removed. The radiation is a precaution, as there were a few atypical cells. There are about two weeks of treatments left.
Ashley and Eli Mathern with children: Dylan Rose, 6; Justin Danielle, 4 months; Chase David, 23 months; Tyler Jane, 3; and Blake Victoria, 4.
Eli and Ashley live on a farm southwest of Garwin. Eli is employed at Ryerson and also farms. The young couple are parents of five children. The children are Dylan Rose 6; Blake Victoria 4; Tyler Jane 3; Chase David 23 months; and Baby Justin Danielle, just 4 months old.
The Mathern Family is active in the Evangelical Free Church in Marshalltown. Ashley is quick to point how their deep faith in God has helped them through the whole ordeal. She said she had what she thought was a migraine for three weeks and at first the doctors thought it was a result of the epidural at the time of Justin's birth. Then her vision started going out and an MRI was ordered - it clearly showed the brain tumor. She was referred to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for the eight hour surgery.
Ashley said, "We give God all the glory because He brought us through this." Then she added, "My story is not interesting. I don't want anyone to worry about me. I'm doing great because I gave my life to Jesus about six years ago. What's worse than a physical ailment is not really knowing Jesus. God says we are sinners deserving death, but He sent Jesus to take our place and wipe out our sins. And all we have to do is repent and turn to God. Then we can truly live."
The treatments have been a Monday through Friday process. Ashley has even been driving herself to some of the treatments. She says, "Eli tries to go on Thursday and Fridays. And my Mom comes out daily."
Parents of the couple are Fred and Lori Leytham and Larry and Pattie Mathern, all of Garwin.
Representing the Revitalization Committee, Merle Parks said, "This benefit is to help them out with the cost of gas traveling to Iowa City daily. There are a lot of things that insurance does not cover and we just want to help them out in anyway that we can. This is what small towns do for people."
For those who would like to contribute to the Benefit, but are unable to attend on Sunday, April 28, donations may be sent to: Carol Parks, 204 Park Street, Garwin, Iowa 50632. Questions may be directed to Parks at 641-499-2148.