LIBERTY, Mo. -- It all started when a group of friends saw how their friend struggle financially while battling cancer. They saw that as an opportunity to act. A fundraiser for their friend has now evolved into a local organization that helps total strangers. And now some of those strangers are becoming friends and advocates too.
Michael Corte was 26 years old when he got the news: leukemia. Just two years later, Misti King said her talented friend, artist and musician, was gone.
"He was a positive force in the arts community, we just wanted to celebrate him and it spiraled from there," she said.
It spiraled into the Cancervive organization: friends touched by cancer, coming together to help total strangers in their cancer fight. The group is now putting finishing touches on its third fundraiser at the Belvoir Winery in Liberty on Halloween.
"A lot of people need help so we just kept rolling with it," King said.
And some of those people they help are now getting involved too. Bart Green benefited from the last fundraiser back in March. He said he and his wife and two kids were so touched to get this offer of help from total strangers that now he wants to give back.
"I was in the hospital diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma," he said. "Financially, it's hard for a lot of people and to have strangers say, 'Here's money, don't worry about it, we'll help you out,' that's amazing. You can't thank them enough for that so my way of giving back is getting involved."
"I personally think it's inspiring he's taken it upon himself to help as much as he has," said King, "It's been tremendous."
Green said he's glad he's able to get involved since he just got good news:
"I just got cleared officially yesterday," he said. "I am cancer free, in remission."
This upcoming Halloween themed fundraiser will benefit another stranger: a single mom with three kids who is battling lymphoma. King hopes it sends her more than just financial help.
"I like to think the more support, the more positive energy behind them helps them push forward and face the battle head on knowing they have a cheerleading squad," said King.
The next Cancervive event is Halloween night from 6pm to midnight at Belvoir Winery in Liberty. It features some family friendly entertainment and live music. For more information head to the group's Facebook page.