Local man diagnosed with aggressive cancer is counting on fundraisers

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: STEPHANIE HAUGEN - A steady stream of customers stopped by Jenna Harms Forest Grove home last weekend to support the fundraiser rummage sale for her father, Homer Betancourt. Jenna Harms wants to say just one thing – thank you.

Harms wants to thank everyone in Forest Grove for their support – both donations and kind words – during the last couple months while she’s been busy organizing fundraisers with her friends and family for her father, Homer Betancourt, who was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer of the bile ducts earlier this year. Betancourt, who operates Forest Grove’s Homer’s Fences and Decks Inc., doesn’t have health insurance.

Harms and her family have barely had a chance to catch their breath since the shocking April diagnosis, but she said treatment -- Betancourt has finished several rounds of chemotherapy -- is going well.

“It was really, really overwhelming the first month or two – how are you going to pay for this? How are you going to feel?” she said. “The treatment is helping minimize the symptoms. The tumors caused him a lot of pain.”by: COURTESY PHOTO - Homer Betancourt stopped by the garage sale organized in his honor last Saturday, July  20. Treatments have helped reduce the symptoms of his bile duct cancer, and he's even been able to work a few hours a day at his Forest Grove business.

Past fundraisers, such as the benefit dinner at the Forest Grove Elks Lodge last month, have been successful, Harms said. “It’s really helping. It’s making a huge difference, not only monetarily but also in terms of hope and support.”

Last Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, Harms hosted a rummage sale at her house in Forest Grove that raised more than $2,700. The sale saw a steady stream of customers, Harms said, many of whom told cashiers to keep the change for the cause.

“It’s amazing how many people dropped something off,” said Harms, who collected items for several weeks before the sale. “Every time I came home from work there was something new on the front porch. It just goes to show how many people know Homer.”

On Aug. 17, there will be a fundraiser bison barbeque at L-Bar-T Bison Ranch in Dilley, and a golf tournament likely to be held in September.

For ways to help, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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