When Sally Smith, 61, of Dunkirk, was first diagnosed with cancer in 1997, doctors gave her six months to live after discovering the tumor which had formed around the aorta of her heart.
Turning those six months into 16 years, Smith fought against various types of cancer, before eventually passing away on Dec. 11.
"She led her life to the fullest," said her brother, William Best. "... She knew where to find herself."
Smith was a manager at the Best Western/Comfort Inn in Dunkirk, and a resident of Stockton for 20 years before residing in Dunkirk for the last nine years.
On Oct. 20, Smith was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer, and, Oct. 28, she underwent two surgeries to remove cancerous tumors from her spine to prevent paralysis.
"She didn't really struggle," Best said in relation to Smith's fight with cancer. "She never gave up. She had a will to live. She had more will to live than any other person I've ever seen."
A memorial benefit will be held for Smith on Sunday at the Nickel Plate Depot located at 131 Central Ave. in Brocton from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10.
"She had more will to live than any other person I've ever seen."
The benefit will consist of a spaghetti dinner, silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, a 40-inch television giveaway and a couple of popular bands from the local area.
The friends and family of Smith who are holding the benefit are looking toward local businesses for support in making the event a success.
They are in need of items to feature in their silent auction, as well as food items for the spaghetti dinner. Cash donations are also welcome.
The money from the benefit will go toward helping to pay for medical costs.