September 25, 2013

Benefit to help Peru woman fighting cancer


PERU — Deb Duval comes from a big family — she has 16 brothers and sisters.  

She has worked at Northern Orchard for a long time — more than 30 years.

So, as she battles ovarian cancer, the Peru woman has a lot of support.

In fact, a benefit for her has been set for Sunday at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 309 on Route 22B in Peru. The event, from noon to 6 p.m., will include a spaghetti dinner at $6 a plate and a Chinese auction. A DJ will provide entertainment. There will be a dart tournament and horseshoe tournament.

Among those organizing the event is Brandy Duval of Plattsburgh — one of the family. 

“My husband is Deb’s nephew,” Brandy explained, “and I’m trying to pick up the slack while Deb and her daughter are busy going to doctor’s appointments.”


She said that most of the food preparation is being handled by the family, but businesses have made donations for the Chinese auction.

Donations have come from Northern Orchards, Rulfs Orchard and Adirondack Farms, where Deb’s husband, Daniel, works.

The dart and horseshoe tournaments, Brandy said, will be a way to “get everyone involved” during the benefit.

“We know some people who play darts and a lot of people who play horseshoes — and they’re set up for both at the VFW.”

Deb’s daughter, Amanda Desotell, of Peru hopes that the benefit will provide some relief for the family. 

Because her mother’s health-insurance coverage is limited, they need help paying for medical expenses. There’s also the question of lodging in Burlington, where Deb has been going for her treatments.

“We had no arrangements at all. We were sleeping on chairs in her bedroom and in the solarium,” Desotell said.


As soon as Deb, 60, was diagnosed with cancer, some of her friends began asking about arranging a benefit.

She is well known in the community.

“She’s the face of Northern Orchard,” Brandy said. “When you think of Northern Orchard, that’s who you think of.”

It seems like Deb knows “thousands and thousands of people,” Amanda said.

“You can’t go into town without her meeting at least 10 people. Everyone stops and talks with her.”

Brandy and Amanda feel the benefit is not only a way to help Deb in a time of need but also a recognition of her years of generosity and hard work.

“I can’t believe how much people have donated,” Brandy said. “But it’s because she’s such a good-hearted person. 

“She always gave to others. Now people are giving back to her.”

For more information or to donate to the benefit, contact Brandy at 335-2206 or