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They’re friends for life

Burbank woman is raising funds for longtime friend and mother of two who is battling lymphoma.

September 11, 2009|By Joyce Rudolph

A Burbank woman is using online technology — and her cute canine companion — to raise funds for a longtime friend who is battling lymphoma.

Sara Golden met Rosemarie Cross 27 years ago when they worked at the Beverly Hills Hotel in the early 1980s. A lasting friendship was formed, and Golden delighted in keeping up with Cross’ life, especially the births of her two sons, Oliver, 7, and Mason, 8.

But life has been challenging for the family, Golden said. First they lost their San Fernando Valley home due to the medical bills incurred after Mason was born with a cleft lip and palate. He had nine surgeries in the first three years of his life.

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“They moved to Las Vegas and were doing well until they got into a bad mortgage,” Golden said. And then the boys’ father lost his job. Last September they lost their house in Las Vegas and they moved first to Oregon and then to Washington.

“Things were starting to look up for them until a few weeks ago when Cross went to the emergency room because a swollen lymph node was making it difficult for her to walk,” Golden said.

Within 10 days, Cross found out that she had lymphoma. The same day she also found out that the boys’ father had a stroke. Cross starts chemotherapy on Monday.

“So her friends and I are pooling together in different ways to help,” Golden said.

One way is by entering Golden’s mixed shepherd Rowdy in an online contest, Cutest Dog Competition, sponsored by All American Pet Brands.

“We made over 500 votes for Rowdy this past week,” Golden said. “But we have discovered that a small group of dedicated people is just not enough. We have the story, we have a cute dog, but we don’t have a large enough network.”

So she and her friends are spreading the word through Facebook and other media to attract more votes for Rowdy, she said.

“The contest is 12 weeks, and each week there is one winner that wins $500,” Golden said.

The 12 weekly winners become semifinalists, and the public votes on the top four. Judges will choose the top winner and three runners-up, and the winner will be announced on Thanksgiving, she said.

Golden is Cross’ angel in Southern California, Cross said.

“Sara has been a longtime friend of mine and done so much for my children and myself,” Cross said. “We’ve had struggles over the year, and to have this has been quite a blow to our systems.”

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