WEST OCEAN CITY — A West Ocean City local who has done so much for others in the community over the years needs a little help on the receiving end as she continues to battle leukemia and will be the beneficiary of a holiday party set for next Saturday, Dec. 22 at Sunset Grille.
For nearly two decades, Carolyn Cordial has organized dozens of benefit events for those in need in the community and has helped countless local families and individuals with her leadership role with Worcester Youth and Family and she now needs a little help in return. Diagnosed with leukemia several months ago, Cordial continues to fight the good fight and has turned some corners and is heading in a positive direction, but the battle continues and she can use a little leg up from the same community she has helped so much.
To that end, Sunset Grille in West Ocean City, where Cordial has worked part-time for several years in addition to her duties at Worcester Youth, has dedicated its annual holiday party as a heartfelt benefit in her honor with donations, raffles and other events planned to help her get through her ongoing recovery process.
“We’re trying to make life a little easier for her as she goes through this,” said Sunset Grille General Manager Darren Cummings this week. “Everybody around here knows how much she has done in this community and it’s time for all of us to give something back.”
Cummings said Cordial was a reluctant beneficiary of the benefit.
“We all know what she is going through, but she kept refusing to let anybody help her,” he said. “We’re trying to help her out with some things and let her focus on just getting better.”
Cordial’s health is improving by small degrees and has turned some significant corners in the recovery process, but the road has been rough.
“I’m hanging in there,” she said this week. “The news has been good, but I still have a ways to go. I’m just going through the process and crossing off these milestones along the way and pushing through to the finish line.”
That finish line now appears in sight, but the healing process is far from over. Cordial said recent tests have shown the cancer is out of her blood and out of her genetic code, but she has not yet been declared to be in remission. In the meantime, she continues the debilitating treatments, including chemotherapy.
“It has really knocked me for a loop,” she said. “The side effects of the chemo have been really bad and I expected they would be, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad. I’m used to working two jobs and being very active, but I’m down to working about six hours a week.”
Cordial said she was taken aback by the offer from Cummings and Sunset Grille to be the beneficiary of the annual holiday party.
“I was just blown away,” she said. “I’m very humbled that they chose me this year and I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate it. We’re very fortunate to live in such a generous community, and I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this community rally to take care of their own. So many people have been so supportive, and when you have an illness like this that just goes on and on, that support is so important.”
The annual holiday party and benefit for Cordial at Sunset Grille is set for Saturday, Dec. 22, from 5-10 p.m. and features complimentary hors d’oeuvres, $1.25 drinks and $1.75 bottle beers. In addition, the popular band Johnny Bling will perform from 7-11 p.m.
“Please help us raise some holiday cheer for our dear friend Carolyn Cordial, who is battling leukemia,” the event flier reads. “Carolyn has dedicated her life to helping others in need, and we can think of no better gift than helping her in her time of need.”