May 25, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Cul-de-sac comes together to help neighbor

Cami Cornett knows what it means to have good neighbors. When friends of the 36-year-old hotel manager and mother of two learned about her struggle with breast cancer, they banded together to donate their proceeds to her from the annual Cobblestone Park neighborhood garage sale, going on today and Saturday in Montville Township.

“I don’t even have words,” Cornett said Thursday night. “I do want everyone to know how much I appreciate it.”

Customers check items at a garage sale Thursday at the home of Jen Phillips, who lives on Riverrock Way in Montville Township. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

The idea for the fundraiser started with neighbors on the Riverrock Way cul-de-sac, where Cornett lives, but other households in the development are pitching in.

At least six families are participating in the fundraiser.

Cornett said seeing the outpouring of support has lifted her spirits.

“I just started chemo last week, and I haven’t felt the greatest,” she said.

Cornett had been back at work for one day after a maternity leave for her second child, Cassandra, now 4 months old, when she received her diagnosis in June. She also has a son, Cayden, who will turn 3 in August.

She said she hasn’t been back to work since because of doctors’ appointments and side effects from the first round of chemotherapy.

The fundraiser will help her with high copays, bills and other expenses.

Cornett said she was surprised to learn wigs can cost $1,200.

The garage sale continues 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Saturday at the Riverrock Way cul-de-sac, which is situated between state Route 162 and Poe Road.

From left, Mallory, 8, and her sister Allison Phillips, 5, smile from behind their lemonade stand on Riverrock Way in Montville Township. The siblings are raising money as part of a neighborhood garage sale to help a neighbor diagnosed with breast cancer. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

At first, doctors thought a lump in her breast might be a clogged milk duct following her pregnancy, she said, but a mammogram and biopsy showed it was cancer.

Cornett had a mastectomy three weeks ago, and doctors discovered the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

She said her doctors have been positive about her chances of fighting the disease, but anxiety remains.

“Especially when you have such little kids, you have dark thoughts,” Cornett said. “I have to be strong.”

Her husband, Chris, has been a big support, she said.

On Thursday, the first day of the weekend garage sale, signs bearing pink ribbons pointed the way through the development, which is situated between state Route 162 and Poe Road.

Katie Kalinowski, one of Cornett’s neighbors, said the group sold 120 hot dogs Thursday and her family’s yard sale made $200.

“We’ve had people just drive by and donate,” she said.

Other neighbors reported similar results. A children’s lemonade stand raised $89.

Jen Phillips, who lives close to Cornett, said: “People have been really generous. We’re hoping it continues this way.”

The group will have hot dogs and cookies for sale, along with a kids’ lemonade stand. A selection of children’s items, books, furniture and appliances are being sold.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or