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Friends gather support for coachs family

Shauna Immel is fighting for her life.

Her husband, Dave Immel, is fighting for his family.

They both need your help.

Dave Immel is an assistant coach on the Southridge High School varsity girls basketball team and a former head boys coach at the school, but the battle that he and his family are engaged in now is far tougher than any the former Glencoe and UCLA hoop star has seen on the court.

Shauna Immel, 40, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after suffering severe abdominal pain during a recent trip to Seattle.

Now, after an emergency return trip to Portland and major surgery on June 22, Shauna has returned home after two weeks in the hospital to recover and prepare for chemotherapy.

Equally dire, however, is the Beaverton family's financial situation. While the Immels and their two children (Spencer, 11, and Kaelin, 7) have insurance, their costs for coverage so far (including one hospital stay and one return) haven't been received and are unknown, but are expected to be significant.

Shauna has coverage through her previous employer in Canby, but now that she is no longer working, the family will have to pick up her coverage through COBRA payments, which are not cheap and won't continue indefinitely.

'The fight Shauna and Dave are in could not be more serious,' said Michael Meek, Southridge's head girls basketball coach and the Immels' close friend. 'We're urging the Beaverton and Hillsboro communities to get involved now and help in any way they can financially.'

A group of Southridge High School parents, students and community volunteers has kicked off a drive to help the Immels. A fund has been set up at US Bank, and families and friends in Beaverton and Hillsboro are encouraged to donate in person or online at www.immel-lifeline.com.

The Web site will provide updates on Shauna's progress and a growing list of activities and events that are planned to help in generating additional support long term.

In addition to soliciting financial donations, supporters are also hoping to aid Dave Immel's new real estate business.

As a new real estate agent who has recently begun working with Keller Williams Realty Integrity Group, Immel seeks people who have immediate plans to sell their homes as well as leads to others who may be planning to do so in the near future.

He can be contacted at www.daveimmel.com; 503-336-7590 (business), 503-336-7790 (fax) or 971-226-5555 (mobile).

'Getting the family on a more stable financial footing will greatly ease Dave and Shauna's concerns and enable them to concentrate on dealing with her disease,' said Meek, who's acting as spokesman for the Immel family. 'We're working hard for a brighter future for this wonderful family.'