Cheering for Amy Veneski-Oliver

This Christmas holiday, we received news that no one could hope for: our own Amy Veneski-Oliver was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer . Amy had been dealing with digestive discomfort since the summer, and her gallbladder was removed in August. However, the pain and discomfort continued, and additional testing led to this diagnosis. Amy has already begun chemotherapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. The plan is to use the most aggressive treatments available to shrink the tumors to the point that surgery is viable.

Amy needs our support. While her insurance will cover most of the treatments, there are other expenses that she cannot meet. We expect that Amy’s chemotherapy will keep her sidelined from work indefinitely. She has also put her nursing degree on hold. However, Amy refuses to give up being a full time wife to James and mother to Audrey.

All funds raised through this site will be used towards Amy’s transportation costs to/from treatment, co-pays, medical supplies, in-home care, prescriptions, pain and stress relief, vitamins and nutrition, and day-to-day costs that she cannot meet while not working. Because these expenses will add up over several months of treatment, we’re also hosting a February 21st benefit dinner at the Swormville Fire Hall in East Amherst. We’d love to see you there – and we thank you for your prayers and support!!

In case you’ve been out of touch with Amy, here’s what she’s been up to:
 
In a wonderful ceremony at St. Mary’s Church in Swormville, NY , Amy Veneski married James Oliver, in July 2013. The two started dating in 2010, but the story began much earlier. Amy and James had known each other since attending Williamsville North High School; they were part of a small group of friends that spent their free time together. The group was inseparable during the summer of 1984, but the 1985 graduation of James marked the beginning of everyone going their separate ways. Amy graduated from Williamsville North in 1987 and eventually ended up relocating to Fresno, California to help her brother, Dave, and his young family. She returned to Buffalo in 1997 to be closer to her parents and siblings who had remained back east. Amy and James reconnected at James’ 25-year high school reunion at Williamsville Old Home Days and have enjoyed many happy moments since.

Wedding day, July 2013! Amy, James, Audrey, J.F., and Evan on the altar at St. Marys Church.

Amy’s parents still reside in their family home in East Amherst. Her brother Dan lives in Amherst, New York and her sister Sarah lives in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Dave still resides in Fresno. Amy and her brothers were adopted from Baker Victory Services  (formerly Father Baker’s Infant Home), and her sister was adopted from Catholic Charities of Buffalo. Amy’s mother Dianne is a pancreatic cancer survivor who was a full time homemaker to the children; her father John is retired from his 36-year General Motors career.

A Buffalo tradition: Amy touring Niagara Falls on the Maid of the Mist.

While in Fresno, Amy entered the business world as a salesperson for Freightliner big rigs. After returning to Buffalo she resumed her sales career as an advertising specialist for Auto Trader. She also worked as an account executive for Coca Cola- Buffalo. Daughter Audrey was born in 2005, and Amy transitioned to part-time work so that she could be a full-time mom. And, she used her free time to complete her education. Amy currently holds an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Erie Community College, a New York State Cosmetology License, and is four courses from completing her Associates of Nursing degree from Erie Community College. With her mom as inspiration, Audrey is also working hard at school -- she looks forward to completing third grade in June 2015.

Audrey's first day of 3rd grade.

When she was 21, Amy tried out for the Buffalo Jills. Amy was selected for the 1990 -1991 squad and was there to cheer on the Buffalo Bills at Super Bowl 25 in Tampa, Florida. She continued with the Jills for the 1[phone redacted] and 1[phone redacted] seasons, serving as co-captain in 1[phone redacted]. She fondly recalls traveling with the team for Super Bowls and also the highlight of her experience – cheering for the Bills as they faced the Philadelphia Eagles in an exhibition at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
 Amy (far left, back row) cheers on the Buffalo Bills at Rich Stadium.

After a hiatus from cheering, Amy returned to the Jills for the 2002 season. Unfortunately, her cheering days were ended by a broken ankle suffered during a practice session with the Junior Jills at the Ralph Wilson fieldhouse. She looks back on her cheerleading as not just a hobby, but a way to give back to the neediest people in the community. “A big part of being a Jill is charity and community service events,” she says.

Amy and music legend John Denver at Jim Kelly's Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament.

As a Jill, Amy’s cheering supported events held by the American Heart Association, Camp Good Days and Special Times, Hunter’s Hope, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness, and various other organizations in the Buffalo community.  Her community work extended beyond cheering -- she also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity through St. Mary's Church. Currently, Amy enjoys her work rehabilitating sick and injured animals as an SPCA foster parent.

Gio, an SPCA rescue, with his nearly-amputated leg. He made a full recovery!

Gabby, another SPCA adoption, has a thing for socks and shoes.

If it's been a while, Amy would love to hear from you! You can contact her at aveneski2000 at yahoo.com, or find her on facebook. If you're worried about what to say, you can learn more about supporting a friend with cancer here .

If you'd like to help with the benefit dinner, email me and I'll point you towards the organizing committee.  Thanks again for your support!

Amy at her wedding reception with her #1 cheerleader, James.

Donations

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  • Tracy Masiello 
    • $40 
    • 74 mos
  • Matt Stengel 
    • $20 
    • 74 mos
  • Elaine Conway 
    • $20 
    • 75 mos
  • 500 Awesome People!! 
    • $23,000 (Offline)
    • 75 mos
  • Kevin Powers 
    • $25 
    • 75 mos
See all

Organizer

Phil Stokes 
Organizer
Buffalo, NY
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