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June 29, 2014

Door-to-door donations sought without family’s permission

COMANCHE — The Berzas family of Comanche work together to operate their local restaurants, 2 Cajuns and R&C’s Rib Shack and have avoided actively seeking donations during their two-year-old girl’s battle with cancer, but recently discovered somenone had gone door-to-door seeking donations in Natalie’s name.

Restaurant General Manager and Natalie’s grandmother, Lisa Berzas, said she found out about the incident via a message and wants it stopped.

The post about the incident on Baby Natalie’s Facebook page has been shared 315 times.

“I don’t understand how someone can be so selfish,” Natalie’s father, Justin Berzas said.

Justin and Bethany Berzas, 21 and 20, said their daughter was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor nine months ago and given two weeks to live just over two weeks ago.

Justin said Natalie had chemotherapy treatments at the Children’s Hospital at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center until about two weeks ago.

“The hardest part is not being able to do anything for my own daughter..either way, I got to spend time with her,” Justin said. “I’ve got hope and I’ve got faith.”

He said he met a man who recently lost a child to cancer during his time taking Natalie for treatments that has helped him cope with his daughter’s battle.

Lisa said she and her husband moved their family to Davis from Louisiana and took over the Fried Pie Shop there before opening the restaurants in Comanche.

She said her family closed the 2 Cajuns seafood restaurant, located at the intersection of Paul Road and Old U.S. 81 in Comanche, temporarily to spend more time with her granddaughter, but R&C’s Rib Shack at 229 Oak Main Ave. in Comanche remains open.

“I choose to be here so I don’t have anything to regret,” Lisa said. “We’ve always been close, but we’ve all come together.”

Jennifer Berzas, Lisa’s daughter-in-law, does some work at R&C’s Rib Shack and said she’s amazed at the support her family has gotten.

Jennifer said the family has had garage sales, bake sales, left jars at their restaurants and sold T-shirts to help cover the cost of traveling for Natalie’s treatments.

The family is currently auctioning Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team items that were donated to them, according to the Baby Natalie Facebook page.

“The people have been great to us,” Jennifer said. “It’s overwhelmed us how the people have come together.”

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