High school student and brother left alone after loss of both parents and grandfather.
The village around the Gunning children is gambling on the
community to help a family in shock.
Evan Gunning just turned 16; his brother Sean, is 22. In the
last year, they lost their mother, Suzanna, to cancer; their father, Mike, was
laid off and soon after diagnosed with cancer, which claimed his life in July
and the day before his funeral, the boys' grandfather died.
"We're just trying to help them hold on to their house until
things can be worked out," said Barbara Beck, who is organizing a fundraiser
for the boys with friend Judy Janusek. The women were friends with Suzanna and
raised their boys together, so when Suzanna took ill, were part of a network of
friends helping Mike take care of her, providing meals and other necessities.
Before he lost his job, Mike Gunning had dealt with his own
cancer, but believed it was in remission. Shortly after being laid off, the
diagnosis was much more grim – it was back. The group shifted to hospital
visits until the end, and were there for the boys when the family suffered yet
another horrible loss.
All the while, Beck said that Evan has tried to maintain a
normal life; he recently passed his driver's test with her son and focuses his
attention on volleyball, playing on the Valencia
High School team. He has moved in
with his aunt and uncle, while Sean, who left his first year of design school
when his mother was diagnosed, remains in the family's Valencia
A fundraiser is planned for November 8 at the Hyatt
Valencia; it will be a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament with tickets going for
"We're hoping to get 300 people," Beck said. "We're just
trying to help them through this tough time."
For more information on the family and the fundraiser, visit
caringbridge.org/visit/gunning or call Janusek at (661) 296-4407.