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Benefit set for Waterman

As a member of Stephen Ministries, Sharon Waterman is used to caring for people who are grieving or in pain.

But now, as a cancer patient, Waterman is the one receiving care.

Stephen Ministries at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jamestown is hosting a spaghetti dinner for Waterman from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.

The dinner is freewill offering, which will be used toward Waterman’s travel and medical expenses, said Shirley Laber, a friend of Waterman’s and the leader of Stephen Ministries at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Stephen Ministries is a group that listens to and provides care for people in pain, whether it’s from grief, loss of a job or loneliness, Laber said.

“We go to these people to show that we care, and the biggest thing we do is listen,” she said.

Waterman has been part of the group for about three years.

She hadn’t noticed any signs of cancer until she went to the dentist in late May. The dentist noticed lumps in Waterman’s throat and sent her to a specialist.

“I was kind of like, ‘What lump?’ I didn’t even know I had one,” Waterman said.

About mid-July, she went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

“I went through a series of tests there,” Waterman said.

After being examined at the Mayo Clinic and treated with radiation at the Bismarck Cancer Center, Waterman finally finished treatments last month. She just has a couple of more visits to Mayo and Bismarck to make sure the cancer is fully gone, she said.

“It’s been an interesting journey,” she said.

Some things that have helped Waterman through the journey are her sense of humor and her relationship with Stephen Ministries.

“(Waterman is) a very upbeat person, and I’ve known her for years,” Laber said.

Since Waterman is widowed and has no children, Laber said, it was people from Stephen Ministries who helped drive her to treatment when she was too fatigued to drive herself.

Waterman said she’s grateful for that and for Thursday’s benefit.

“I’m very humbled that they’re doing this for me,” she said. “I’ve been so appreciative.”

Waterman said that she’s feeling a lot better these days, although the aftermath of treatment “gets worse before it gets better,” she said.

“It’s been a journey that I wasn’t anticipating,” Waterman said. “It’s not like it was on my bucket list to get cancer. But it is how it is.”

Sun reporter Charly Haley can be reached at 701-952-8455                   or by email at

Charly Haley

Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.