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Colfax comedian in battle for her life

By: Gloria Beverage
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Grace White, founder of the Women Who Kick Comedy Butt tour, has defied the odds. On Nov. 6, 2007, the long-time Colfax resident was given three months to live when doctors diagnosed Stage 4 inoperable lung cancer. However, the self-described “Old Hippie Chick” has spent the last two years raising awareness about the devastating effects of lung cancer as well as the need to find treatments and early detection methods. Last month, though, she became partially paralyzed. After a series of tests, doctors determined the cancer has now spread to her liver and brain. White was hospitalized at the UC Davis Medical Center for nearly a month following surgery, returning home this past weekend, explained Dori Barrett. Barrett and White’s daughter, Alisa, have set up the community page, “Saving Grace,” on the Web site lotsahelping hands.com, to coordinate help for the family as well as collect messages for White. “I am listed as the coordinator they contact through the Web site,” Barrett explained. “They can then sign up under the calendar to fill a need or go to the Well Wishes Wall and leave a message for Grace.” In a 2008 interview, White reported, “lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. “Approximately 25 percent of women and 15 percent of men with lung cancer have never smoked,” White said in a 2008 interview. According to a 2007 report released by the American Lung Association, other known causes of lung cancer include exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, radon, air pollution and certain chemicals. White serves on the board of directors for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and has worked on behalf of the American Lung Cancer Association. Until her diagnosis, White was the brainchild and star of an all-female standup comedy touring show, Women Who Kick Comedy Butt. She said she conceived the touring group several years ago to spotlight funny women because “comedy is a male-dominated business.”