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More than $13,000 raised for Cheer Up Charlies co-owner after cancer diagnosis

Staff Writer
Austin 360
Cheer-Up Charlie's owners Tamara Hoover (left) and Maggie Lea. [Deborah Sengupta Stith/American-Statesman]

Since July, Maggie Lea, co-owner of the popular Red River Cultural District club, Cheer Up Charlie's, has been battling an aggressive and fast-growing form of  breast cancer.

On Wednesday, her partner, Tamara Hoover, created an online fundraiser to support Lea as she completes a lengthy treatment protocol that includes six rounds of chemotherapy, likely followed by surgery and radiation.

"The journey to heal Maggie’s body has just begun and there is a long, challenging road ahead," Hoover wrote. "Maggie has a way of putting people at ease, even when she is going through a tremendous storm. In her grace, she may make this storm look easy to manage, but it is a greatly difficult one and she needs us all to help lift her up."

The fundraiser exceeded its initial target of $10,000 in less than 48 hours.

By Friday morning, over $13,500 had been raised and the comment section of the fundraiser was loaded with well wishes. Commenters warmly expressed their love for Cheer Up Charlie's and spoke of Lea's tireless support of the local arts scene.