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Bus driver's co-workers driven to help wife with lymphoma

SCHUYLER FALLS - Theresa M. Viti has been living with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for more than a decade and is now pursuing her second bone marrow transplant to combat the disease. And, she's not alone.

Employees of the Peru Central School District transportation department have joined together to organize a benefit this Saturday, Oct. 24, for Theresa, a dental assistant in Plattsburgh who is the wife of bus driver David Viti.

"We just thought we, the bus drivers and other people here at the transportation department, would get together to help them out, and it just got bigger and bigger," said Candy Hislop, one of the organizers of the benefit who works with David. "He's always helping everybody else out and we just thought we'd help him and his family out for a change. We just want to help them with their expenses."

When David learned his co-workers wanted to lend a hand, he was taken back, he said.

"I didn't know what to say. I mean, we've always worked for everything we've got and we've never asked for anything," said David, who admitted he and his family aren't used to accepting help from others.

"We told him whether he liked it or not, we were doing it for them," Candy said, laughing.

Theresa has already undergone a bone marrow transplant and several rounds of chemotherapy in Plattsburgh and in Boston, Mass., said David. Theresa has seemed to become unresponsive to chemotherapy, he added leading her to search for another donor for what would be her second and final attempt at a bone marrow transplant.

"This is the last step to hopefully do something for her," he said.

Despite facing such a serious situation, Theresa remains positive, David said.

"She's a strong-willed person," said David. "That's what's kept her going all this time."

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