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Creative Christmas helps a Jones Countian who is fighting cancer

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    Val Elliott had her paintings and other items available for those shopping for Christmas gifts. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED
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    Brandi Avery, a local who Elliott is helping with Be Creative Christmas.
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    Tumblers and cups were available for purchase through a vendor at the Be Creative Christmas event.
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    A jewelry vendor was at the Be Creative Christmas event, giving customers a chance to purchase jewelry.

Be Creative, by Val Elliott, a local artist, hosted a Be Creative Christmas on Nov. 20 to sell her handpainted items and help her friend, Brandi Avery, with funds for her cancer treatment.

Elliott said she was excited to host the event and was happy with how things went. She said she was happy everyone came together to help her friend.

“We did a Christmas craft show day. The vendors set up to sell their wares, and in lieu of a vendor fee, they donated to help Brandi Avery’s maintainable cancer treatments,” she said. “She has been through chemo, but she still has to do things to keep herself up. Brandi crafts also, so it was like a perfect pair.”

She said it was important to have the event at Be Creative, because it let vendors help with a bigger cause. She said they see a dear friend of theirs going through something hard like cancer, and they can help support her. She said prayer is the first thing they do, too.

The artist said vendors were selling woodcrafts, wreaths, tumblers, Color Street Nails, and handmade ornaments. She said Logan’s Loft, The Embellished Peach and Central Harvest participated in the Be Creative Christmas as well.

“I would like this to be an annual event. This was actually Brandi’s idea, and I loved it. It’s a great way to help her. Brandi loves Christmas, too. Seeing people come out, and you haven’t seen them in a long time is great. Plus, Brandi had good news,” the artist said.

Avery said she was diagnosed with a rare cervical cancer last October. She didn’t do chemotherapy then, and since it was so aggressive, it returned. She said she began doing chemotherapy after that, and she was blessed to not have horrible side effects.

“The paint classes here at Be Creative were a life saver for me,” she said. “You walk in the door here and it all just washes away. I got the results of my PET scan and the doctor said they were excellent. All my cancer spots did shrink, and he was shocked.”

She said the doctor told her there was no metabolic activity around those spots, which meant what was left isn’t active. She said it answered her prayers, and it’s an overwhelming blessing. She said she’s so happy she got to see everyone at the event also.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to see everyone again and hug them. I really needed this. It’s important. I also had a few things I wanted to sell, because I love to craft. I made some wooden nativities, my niece made jewelry and my son and I made handmade soaps,” she said.

She said she has a blog on Facebook, documenting her journey, called Choose Well. She said since the beginning, she’s chosen to be upbeat and positive. She made her journey as fun as possible.

Avery said she was born and raised in Jones County, moved away for ten years, then moved back with her husband. She said there’s no better place to be than Jones County.

“The community is great. My husband was a little hesitant at first, but now he’d never leave,” Avery said. “You’re 30 minutes from anything you need if you can’t find it in Gray. The people are wonderful, and this community is amazing. The support has been a huge blessing.”