There will be a pancake benefit breakfast in St. James at the American Legion on Sunday, March 10, to help defray medical and living expenses that are incurred while SPC Jessie Garza is being treated for cancer.
The breakfast is being sponsored by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, which is a group dedicated to helping service members in finding training opportunities, services, resources and support in Minnesota.
The breakfast will take place from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. with pancakes, sausage, applesauce, bars, coffee, milk and juice being served.
Garza was born in Wilmar, Minn., before moving and growing up in St. James. He is a member of the Minnesota National Guard Unit G Company 34 BSB of St. James and St.Peter and deployed from 2009 to 2010 in both Kuwait and Iraq where he worked as a convoy security driver.
“I made a lot of great friends and had a lot of fun,” said Garza about the experience. “I even met my wife over there.”
After his tour overseas Garza came back to the states and started attending school in Mankato.
“I went to school for law enforcement, but I got out of the program and became a custom cabinet worker,” said Garza.
Garza works as a custom cabinet worker in Mankato, but had to miss some time at work while he was undergoing cancer treatments. He was diagnosed with cancer on Oct. 15, 2012, when doctors spotted a tumor.
Garza had surgery to remove the tumor and is now being monitored and receiving MRIs to see if he will need any additional treatment. For the most part, Garza says he is feeling well.
“I greatly appreciate everything everyone has done for me,” said Garza. “The support I’ve been receiving means a lot to me and my family.”
Garza is back working now, but still needs some help paying for the cancer treatments. Additional donations for Garza can be sent to:
P.O. Box 104
St. James, MN 56081