Melody Winters, a longtime employee of Lancasterís Crystal Chandelier and a resident of Ellis County, was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkinís lymphoma and is undergoing chemotherapy in her spine for a mass compressing her chest.

She continues to face health issues that doctors attribute to the treatment and stress on her body from cancer - from shingles and paralysis to fluid buildup around her heart and lungs.

The 40-year-old mother of two began her battle in September and has been in and out of the hospital since. Today, she is in the intensive care unit of Methodist Charlton Medical Center as doctors try and decide a suitable treatment for Winters, whose white blood count is critically low.

A fund has been started at Citizens National Bank in Winterís name and a benefit roping event will be held Dec. 8 at Wade Arena in Terrell - husband Ben is a professional rodeoer - on behalf of her family, which also includes sons, Dakota, 14, and Cuyler, 8.

Readers may call Patty Payne at 214-837-4729 about donations to the Citizens Bank account or Kelly Tuley at 469-337-7699 about the benefit roping.