Mother’s bravery inspires family

Cary and Debra Lennon of Naugatuck are seen in this photo from their son's wedding. A fundraiser will be held for Debra Lennon, of Naugatuck, who is fighting a brain tumor. –CONTRIBUTED

Cary and Debra Lennon of Naugatuck are seen in this photo from their son’s wedding. A fundraiser will be held for Debra Lennon, of Naugatuck, who is fighting a brain tumor. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — She has battled a relentless disease for years and hasn’t complained once.

That’s what family and friends say about Naugatuck resident Debra Lennon, 57, who has battled a nagging brain tumor for 16 years.

“She’s a pretty amazing person,” said her son, Marc Lennon. “One of the things we’ve always said is she is one of the most positive people you will ever meet. She’s always worried about others and has made this much easier on all of us because she has been so positive.”

Friends and family members are organizing a fundraiser to help out Lennon, her husband, Cary, and her family. Lennon, who worked as a teller at Ion Bank for several years, recently had to retire when the tumor began to affect her balance, her short-term memory and her concentration. Marc Lennon said his mother loved the job and interacting with people and would have worked forever if she could have.

The fundraiser will help the family with escalating medical expenses and other associated costs. Part of the fundraising efforts include a pasta and meatball dinner from 3 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 28, at St. Michael’s Church on the Green, 210 Church St., Naugatuck. Tickets are $20 per person. There will also be a 50-50 raffle and live music by the band RiverJack.

An online fundraiser on the website Go Fund Me has been set up, as well. The page can be found at Go Fund Me: Our Love for Debbie or at www.gofundme.com/dflnpg.

Debra Lennon, who is married and has three adult children, is currently recovering at home after a fourth surgery, the third in as many years. The first time she had surgery was 16 years ago when she had a tumor removed from her brain. She did not have any signs or symptoms of a tumor for the next 11 years, but started to show signs again in 2011.

“When I think of everything she has been through, and I don’t hear her complain about anything, it’s pretty amazing to me,” Marc Lennon said. “She’s probably the bravest person I’ve ever met.”

Debra Lennon’s friend, Mari Wells of Pennsylvania, is organizing the pasta dinner fundraiser with friend Theresa Edler. Contact Wells for ticket and donation information at (610) 635-8740 or email her at valntynes@yahoo.com.

Wells, a surgical nurse, said she has never seen anyone who is as positive as Lennon.

“Every time something happens and she needs another surgery, we say, ‘Why Debbie?’ She’s one of the sweetest, nicest people,” Wells said. “But it’s because none of us are strong enough to do what she’s done.”

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