ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – Growing up in a Victorian style home, Kate LaFave of Ishpeming has always loved homes.

“My mom always loved homes,” said LaFave. “And then, she was a relator and we found the house next door and fell in love with it.”

LaFave started her business as Re:Home which involved refurbishing, repurposing and redecorating. Eventually it evolved into what it is today, Re:Home Construction.

“My husband found that he really enjoyed that type of work and it was his passion,” said LaFave. “So, we moved forward with getting him licensed and during that process, the house came up for sale.”

The house though, was in desperate need of repair.

“And so we sat down with two really good friends and we decided to partner together and buy the house as kind of a flip project,” said LaFave. “But, if you were to talk to our relator, he says this is not a flip, this is a restoration.”

LaFave says this project became a blessing to her.

“So right around the time we purchased the home, number one my husband went out on his own so he did not have medical insurance anymore and I was diagnosed for the second time with cancer,” said LaFave. “My original diagnosis was in 2017 and I had breast cancer. The summer of 2020, I had found out that it had spread to my bones. And it was pretty deeply into my pelvic and hip bones so movement was pretty difficult. I spent a lot of time in bed, but this is a blessing because it gave me something to work on and plan and dream about while I was stuck in bed not being able to do the physical work.”

One organization that has been there for Kate during this journey is Cancer Care of Marquette County.

“I went through a period of time within the last year that I had a medical bill that I was fighting,” said LaFave. “Insurance was supposed to pay it but it just became such a mess and they were holding my oral chemo if I didn’t pay the bill. So, I got in touch with Cancer Care of Marquette County and they had no questions. They immediately said, ‘We will help you out. You have to have your medication.’ And it was humbling. I always thought that I could work for what I need. You know, we can cover it. But in that moment, it was sheer desperation because we just couldn’t. The bills are very high when you have cancer and this one being held was forcing my hand.”

With the house already sold to a family and almost complete, LaFave is inviting the public to tour the home as a fundraiser for Cancer Care of Marquette County.

“We want everyone to come through and give as much as they can to Cancer Care of Marquette County and come and see the great work that my husband and his crew have done,” said LaFave. “We’ve had a lot help from friends. Because it’s [Cancer Care of Marquette County] near and dear to all of our hearts. It’s a local entity that helps those in Marquette County, so we know it’s going to stay in home.”

The tour will be on Sunday, February 20 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at 814 N. Main Street, Ishpeming. Cost is $5 per person but LaFave says more donations are always welcome to support the cause.

For more information about the fundraiser, click here.

For more information about Cancer Care of Marquette County, click here.