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Community rallies after cancer patient's donations stolen

PEMBROKE — After word got out that donations meant to help a cancer patient who works at Serendipity Day Spa were stolen, it didn't take people long to show they care.

Spa owner Holly Dufresne Rodrigues said publicity created by the break-in has helped make up for what was taken.

Rodrigues said that after someone stole more than $1,500 in donations meant for employee Jaime Taylor-Harper — in a Boston hospital with Stage 4 brain cancer — Granite Staters who heard of the theft have rallied to make up the difference.

"After the article in the Union Leader about the burglary on Sunday, people started coming in Monday to help out. We got a lot of phone calls and donations. People had beautiful things to say, which was a great way to start off a Monday after such a rough weekend," Rodrigues said.

Pembroke Police Chief Dwayne Gilman said police are investigating the burglary but there haven't been any breaks in the case.

"We encourage anyone who knows anything to give us a call," he said.

Rodrigues said it is still possible for the $10,000 goal to be reached for Taylor-Harper and her family.

"I am so sensitive now. This is pretty rattling, but I just want to say thanks to the generous, wonderful people who have come by this week with some very sweet things, like quilts and stuff," Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues said the money raised will help pay for medical costs and travel expenses.

"She is battling through her second round of chemo down in a Boston area hospital, and she is still fighting. She is getting a lot of support from her family and friends and we are all rallying behind her," Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues said that anyone interested in donating or attending the silent auction on Sept. 8 may contact the spa at 229-0400.

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