"Awesome" -- that's how Monica Fuit describes the Ogden Valley community that's rallying around her.
"Some I know, and some are total strangers," Fuit said of the people raising money for her cancer-related medical bills.
The latest fundraiser is the Ogden Valley Celebration of Women, a day of activities, seminars and sales in Eden. Running the gamut from bike rides to classes on home safety, the event starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and continues until 7 p.m. that evening. Many of the folks participating are donating all of their day's profits to Fuit.
The event originated with Dottie Beck's Women's Cycling Racing Team.
"We have a vision of supporting the community, and particularly women, because we are women," said Diane Evans of Eden, president of the bicycle team -- which is sponsored by three Ogden Valley businesses: Dottie Beck's, Chic Style Clothing Boutique and Zenergy Pilates.
The cyclists wanted to thank their sponsors by organizing a community event around them. And early on, the team decided to give any profits to a charity.
"They decided they would donate proceeds to me," said Fuit. "As word got out, more and more businesses wanted to participate. It's quite a huge thing."
And it means a lot to Fuit.
Fuit was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells, in 2007.
"I went through a bone marrow transplant in 2008, but now I have GVHD," said Fuit, who lives in Liberty.
In graft-versus-host disease, cells from the donor recognize the recipient's body as foreign and begin attacking the patient's organs and tissues.
"The body fights the transplant," Fuit said. "(The doctors) are suppressing my immune system, so I'm not fighting the transplant."
But that also means her body is less likely to fight off any kind of infection, so she sometimes has to wear a mask to protect herself.
Fuit goes to the Huntsman Cancer Institute for treatment once a week, and takes a steroid. They're trying to get her off that medication because of its effect on her body.
"I've been on it so long, it just disintegrates my bones from the inside," she said.
Fuit has done a lot for the community, and is a dedicated friend, said Nichole Householder of Eden.
"Once you're part of her life, she would do anything for you," she adds. "Honestly, she has a heart of gold."
Fuit could say the same about Householder, who has been organizing fundraisers since the beginning of the cancer treatments.
"She just basically told me to stay away, and said, 'I'll take care of it,' and she did. She was just amazing," said Fuit.
But Fuit is not staying away from the Ogden Valley Celebration of Women.
"The first time around, she was stuck in a bone marrow transplant room for about five months, and the farthest she could walk was about 30 feet," said Householder, of Eden. "This time around, it is a lot different for her, and she wants to be active and helping."
Fuit is hosting a nature hike during the Celebration of Women event. For $10 each, 20 nature-lovers can join her at 7:30 a.m., at the North Arm Trailhead near Pineview.
"I took her out there the other day, because she wanted to know if her body would be able to handle it," said Householder. "She can't handle much sun exposure ... and her energy level depends on her treatments."
Fuit says she has good days and bad days, but she's excited about leading a nature hike for the first time. She's been on them before, but never led one.
Fuit has put her knowledge of plants and animals to good use in the past. When she worked at the Wolf Creek Utah Golf Course, she selected plants that were wildlife-friendly. She also made birdhouses that are friendly to local birds, and worked on trails around Wolf Creek.
"I got the course Audubon certified," she said. "It's the only golf course in Utah that's Audubon Society-certified."
Fuit and Householder are grateful for the fundraising help coming from Dottie Beck's Women's Cycling Racing Team and the businesses participating in the Ogden Valley Celebration of Women.
"This may very well be a recurring annual event because there is always someone in need," said Evans.
Anyone wishing to help with Fuit's medical bills may donate to an account at the Ogden Valley Wells Fargo Bank, P.O. Box 164, Eden, UT 84310. Write "Monica Fuit Fundraiser" in the memo section of the check.