INDIANAPOLIS — A restaurant near Butler University's campus is serving up meals and working to save lives.
Hoagies and Hops on the near north side of Indianapolis. The money it raises goes toward research for multiple myeloma, a cancer in the plasma cells, which are the white blood cells in the bone marrow.
The restaurant isn't just making hoagies; it's also serving "Nan's red skin potato salad."
One hundred percent of the proceeds made from the sales of the potato salad will go to cancer research. The fundraiser is in honor of the owner's grandmother, or Nan.
Kristina Mazza started the benefit five years ago.
"She was just an amazing heart. She would give everyone hugs and kisses no matter who they were," Mazza said about her Nan.
The potato salad is her Nan's recipe. It has been passed down through the generations.
Nan passed away in 2016.
"She was my best friend. I loved her dearly and I still do," Mazza said.
The research she is raising money for is going toward people like Rick Spangle, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma seven years ago.
"You don't ever want to hear, 'Oh by the way, I want you to go see a cancer specialist,'" Spangle said. "Within 30 seconds he diagnosed me with multiple mylemo and said, 'You've got some changes that are going to happen and you might want to call your wife and have her come in.'"
Since his diagnosis, Spangle has been fighting. He has had several different treatments, from chemo therapy to a stem cell transplant. Spangle says the cancer is still there but is at bay.
"This is one of the most painful cancers there is. Just getting up every day and there is still pain. There are still residual issues, there is still constant problems but I am alive and I guess that makes up for all of it, right?" Spangle said.
Spangle hopes that he can see his children graduate from college and hopefully have grandkids someday.
Until a cure is found, people like Mazza will be doing what they can to raise money for research for this type of cancer.
Hoagies and Hops will be doing the fundraiser the entire month of October.
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