Bay Area dads create Father's Day Fund

You'd never know it by looking at her, but Eve Grossman Bukowski is fighting colon cancer.

"40-year-old women do not get this disease very often. Unfortunately, I think more and more they are getting it, so there's a huge movement of people trying to move up the colonoscopy to an earlier age rather than 50, move it to 45 or 40," says Bukowski.

She had just turned 40 when she went to volunteer for Hillary Clinton's campaign in Iowa in January. She went to the emergency room in pain every night for five nights, and was told she was constipated.

Finally, the doctors decided to do emergency surgery when they discovered her colon was blocked. Her husband, Pat, flew out from the East Bay and a few days later, the cancer diagnosis came in.

She's still doing chemotherapy in pill form, but her doctors think she'll beat the cancer. Still, this year's Mother's Day, with her 4-year-old twins, was tough for her.

"I'm healing very well and I plan to beat this thing, but you always think to yourself, 'Will I have another mother's day?' It's kind of hard."

Mike Jacob, Bukowski's friend and colleague, is vice president of the Pacific Merchants Shipping Association and knew eve from when they both worked in government affairs for the Port of Oakland. He and some of Bukowski's other friends from the Maritime Industry were devastated by her diagnosis and wanted to help.

What they came up with is the Father's Day Fund: a website for online donations to a choice of five cancer research centers.

"We don't need another tie, we don't need another set of tools on Father's Day because those aren't the things you remember and that you take with you from Father's Day experiences anyway," says website founder Mike Jacob.

Jacob has a picture of his first Father's Day gift on his office wall -- his daughter Trinity, who is now 6 years old.

He was surprised how easily the website came together.

"The folks at UCLA said 'we'd like to help you do that and we'd love to contribute our name and logo to it to help jumpstart it', so we got really lucky with them."

"I'm just so proud of these guys for doing this, it's just phenomenal," says Bukowski.

Bukowski herself has raised more than $10,000 dollars for cancer research. Jacob says the website got $600 in donations on its first day and he's hoping for more.

"We felt really strongly that it's the perfect holiday to do it because you do want to celebrate having family and the gift of life to somebody as a father," says Jacob.

ABC7 News salutes Mike Jacob and all those who helped make the Father's Day Fund a reality.


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