DIXON – Fran Newbauer misses driving by her best friend Faith Collins’ house and shouting out her car window to say hi to her.
It was an inside joke between the two of them.
“It was something silly we did,” Newbauer said. “If I was in her neighborhood, I’d shout out ‘Hey Collins!’ or she’d do the same with me.”
Now, Newbauer is doing what she can to help her friend, who she describes as like a sister to her.
This winter, Collins was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Newbauer’s efforts to help include hosting a yard sale this weekend to raise funds for Collins’ medical costs.
Collins has been in and out of KSB Hospital, most recently checking into the emergency room Thursday shortly after a week-and-a-half stay.
“It’s been really rough on us,” said Collins’ 20-year-old daughter, Laura Llanas, who lives with her mom in Dixon. “Her health is not doing well.”
Newbauer and Collins met and worked together at Rayovac.
Collins, who has seven older children, was injured at work and left her job to take care of her husband, who had lost both of his legs, Llanas said. Collins also took care of her 3-year-old grandson.
After 2 years of health issues, Collins’ husband died in January, and about a month later, she learned she had cancer.
Without a job, it has been difficult for Collins to pay the bills.
“She’s such a wonderful, caring, loving person, I couldn’t let this happen,” Newbauer said. “I had to help her.”
During a previous yard sale, Newbauer raised $338 for Collins and her family.
“I’m doing what I can, but it’s not enough,” Newbauer said. “I’m even collecting cans along the highway. We need help from the community if they can.
“I had five kids myself, so I have plenty of things to sell. And it’s all going at Leydig Center prices, anything I can do to sell it and raise money.”
Collins’ daughter has put collection canisters at several businesses around Dixon, including gas stations, Town & Country Family Restaurant, Dollar General, Ace Hardware and Oliver’s Corner Market. She said the extra change in those canisters has made a difference.
“Everyone is coming together and helping us, and we’re appreciative of it,” Llanas said.
Even though Collins has suffered through a great deal of misfortune, Newbauer refuses to take a negative attitude.
She plans on hosting a yard sale every month this summer.
“I’ll keep doing what I can. I’m praying for her.”
Fran Newbauer will host a yard sale at her home at 510 Bradshaw St. in Dixon Saturday and Sunday to help Faith Collins with her medical expenses.
Just look for the sign in front that says: "Random acts of kindness for Faith Collins."