Community raises money for family of Huntersville mother who died of rare eye cancer

CORNELIUS, N.C. — A local community came together to raise money for the family of a mother who died last month from a rare eye cancer tied to the Huntersville area.

Jessica Boesmiller died in late April of ocular melanoma. Her community gathered at the Eleven Lakes Brewery in Cornelius on Sunday to support her family by helping with her medical expenses.

The goal of the event was to celebrate a fierceness to live and love, the same fierceness Boesmiller had.

The rare cancer normally impacts five out of a million people, but there have been nearly two dozen cases of ocular melanoma in the Huntersville area.

Channel 9 knows of at least 20 people connected to the Huntersville area who have cases of ocular melanoma. The town has funded research into genetics, environmental factors and various other tests on six female patients.

Channel 9 has followed the search for answers and in 2020, Boesmiller told us in an interview that she would not stop searching.

“It’s been a huge part of our family for almost three years now and taken a toll on our family, and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else,” said Boesmiller.

The organizer of Sunday’s event, Terry Maher, said there is some good that could come from everything that happened.

“It has to be love. It has to be friends. It has to be family, neighborhood. It’s what it has to be. Everybody has to take care of each other,” said Maher.


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