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The Journal Gazette

  • Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette Lindsey Hively, who operates the boutique popcorn store, Poptique, at Jefferson Pointe, has cancer and is getting financial help from a silent auction sponsored by another business.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Local artist Leigha Vandezande works on her “under construction” pie pan at her home Sunday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Local artist Leigha Vandezande works on her "under construction" pie pan at her home on Sunday. Leigha is an artist who is painting on a pie pan for a charity auction that will be held March 14 at Sweets So Geek, 3410 N. Anthony Blvd Fort Wayne, IN.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Local artist Leigha Vandezande's work in progress "under construction" pie pan is just one of many pie pans that will be up for grabs on March 14. Sweets So Geek will be holding a charity auction at Sweets So Geek, 3410 N. Anthony Blvd Fort Wayne, IN on March 14.

  • Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette Lindsey Hively, who operates the boutique popcorn store, Poptique, at Jefferson Pointe, has cancer and is getting help from a silent auction sponsored by another business.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015 11:49 am

Idea sweet as pie

Steve Warden The Journal Gazette

This is about friendship, about popcorn and pie, and about Albert Einstein’s birthday.

It’s about doing the right thing, quite unselfishly. It’s about compassion and appreciation.

And this is about art, no matter how you slice it.

Lindsey Hively owns Poptique Gourmet Popcorn within the Jefferson Pointe mall, 4130 W. Jefferson Blvd. It is as it sounds – a gourmet popcorn store. Previously the store was called Kernel Coladas Gourmet Popcorn, which remains in Columbia City but has been renamed. “It was a mouthful,” Hively says of the name, not the contents. “Nobody could spell it and nobody could remember it.”

Chad Seewald owns Sweets So Geek, 3410 N. Anthony Blvd. He sells custom chocolates and desserts, such as cakes. And pies.

Until they met at a local smallbusiness owners meeting less than two years ago, they hadn’t known one another. Most of their communication since then had been through social media, talking about their respective businesses. But along the way, they shared personal issues, most notably that Hively, 27, was diagnosed with cancer last August.

To help defray Hively’s medical expenses, Seewald had an idea. Because this Saturday’s date is March 14, or 3/14, it is also considered “Pi Day” – pi equaling 3.14, which is one of mathematics’ most familiar ratios since it is a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

It’s also Albert Einstein’s birthday – “a personal hero of mine,” Seewald says.

“It’s the celebration of the number pi,” Seewald adds. “I thought we could have a pie pan art show.”

Seewald bought dozens of 93/4-inch aluminum pie pans and distributed them to artists and teachers to give to students to decorate in any fashion. Once the pie pans have transformed into works of art, they will be auctioned from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Seewald’s store.

There was no hesitation as to where the proceeds would go.

“I said, ‘Hey, let’s help out with the medical bills and let’s give all the money to (Hively).’ ”

It was late last summer, Hively says, when she was diagnosed.

“At first, they were classifying it as ovarian cancer, but even still, now they aren’t quite sure. It’s one of those tricky cancers that they don’t know where it came from or what it is. We’re still sending my slides to different laboratories all across the U.S. to try to figure out where it started and what kind of treatments will work on it.”

After three treatments of chemotherapy, Hively and her doctors opted for a Jan. 8 surgery to remove cancerous tumors that were near her spleen, liver and close to an ovary.

“My doctor here has thrown around the term ‘in surgical remission,’ which basically means since they removed all of the tumors during surgery, there are no visible tumors there right now,” Hively says. “I don’t think they’re using the term ‘full remission,’ but I’m in ‘surgical remission.’ ”

Still weak from her treatments, Hively occasionally goes into either the store in Columbia City or the one at Jefferson Pointe. There’s so much she wants to do, she says, but she doesn’t have the energy to do it.

Because she is self-employed and wanted to closely watch expenses, Hively said she signed up for an insurance package with the lowest monthly premium. “I’ve never been sick a day in my life,” Hively said. “But then I got the highest deductible. I didn’t consider that going into it, but you never really think you’re going to get hit with a serious illness like this.”

So any help, financial or otherwise, has touched the heart of Hively, who lives with her mother in Churubusco.

She said she was “shocked” when Seewald said he wanted to help with a charity auction.

“Any time anybody offers to do any benefit or help me in any way, I always get that feeling of total gratefulness. But then again, I’m not worthy. I’m absolutely floored that people are wanting to come out of the woodwork wanting to help me and support my cause. It’s such a blessing.”

But it’s what friends do, Seewald says.

“I couldn’t imagine if that was my family and how tough it would be for a small-business owner – knowing how poor health insurance is for small businesses and so forth,” Seewald says. “Both my wife and I have lost family members to cancer.

“Lindsey has carried herself with a profound grace and dignity to a point where she’s really an example. ... I’ve got two kids, and I can only hope that they grow up to be as strong as she has been. We just wanted to honor that.”

stwarden@jg.net