Danny Siviter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer a couple of months ago.
"It was scary," he said. "Overwhelming. I was really nervous."
Siviter, 32, a tattoo artist at Triple 7 Tattoo studio, went to the doctor to have swollen lymph nodes checked. Soon, the diagnosis came back: Thyroid cancer. Stage unknown.
Currently recovering from surgery, Siviter will be out of work for the forseeable future. On Sunday evening, his friends and colleagues held a fundraiser at the Honest Pint Pub on Patten Parkway to help raise money for his medical expenses.
"We started planning this pretty much as soon as we found out (he was sick)," said Christine Bordeaux, a colleague and friend of Siviter's.
On Sunday she, like a number of others, were sporting black T-shirts with "Saving Siviter" emblazoned across the front.
Handpainted skateboards and tattoo sessions were raffled off. Local bands Smooth Dialect, Gabriel Newell and Muddy Soul, and Bear Wipes A-- With Rabbit performed.
"He is an amazing artist," Bordeaux said of Siviter. "Most importantly, he's a great guy. He's a good dude, and we're all happy to do this for him."
Friends have gone beyond simply throwing a benefit. Without family in the area, Siviter said, his friends have stepped in, waiting at the hospital while he had surgery, and helping him to change his bandages and surgical drain after.
"The sense of family has been really awesome," he said. "The support is really cool."
On Sunday, his friends teased him and cracked jokes. The girls flirted. He grinned.
He's not sure what's next, he said. He has to go for a follow-up in a month. He doesn't think he'll need chemotherapy. The doctors tell him it could be six months before he regains feeling in the right side of his neck. But, "day by day," he said, "it's getting better."
Contact Holly Leber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6391. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/hollyleber. Subscribe to her on Facebook at facebook.com/holly.j.leber