REGINA -- People in Regina are raising funds and material items for a mother undergoing cancer treatment whose home was damaged in a fire.

Michelle Asapace has breast cancer, and had a bilateral mastectomy on Jan. 28. On Sunday afternoon, she had just gotten home from having her bandages changed.

“We just walked into our basement, had a conversation with the landlord and the inspector. And we smelled smoke,” Asapace said.

The upstairs floor had recently undergone renovations, which is why the landlord and a home inspector were at the home to speak with Asapace.

“One of the guys went running upstairs and immediately came running down and said, ‘The door’s locked. There’s a fire in your house,’ and told us to get out,” Asapace said.

Asapace and her family made it out of the home safely, but she said most of their belongings were destroyed.

“It’s been stressful, overwhelming,” Asapace said. “We were shocked, we had our crying moments together as a family because it was quite the loss, and dealing with my health condition as well.”

Asapace home

That lead Asapace’s friend, Tanya Whitebear, to put a call out on social media to raise funds and material items for her.

“Because she had nothing. She was left with just the clothes on her back,” Whitebear said. “She works hard for everything that she does in her life, and she does it all by herself, all the time. And this is an incident where I felt that she needed support.”

Whitebear said members of the community stepped up, and quickly met the immediate clothing needs of Asapace and her children.

“It’s what I expected from the community of Regina,” Whitebear said.

Asapace said she is grateful to the community and Whitebear for putting out the call for help.

“We’re overwhelmed with all the support and friends that are helping us out,” Asapace said. “We give thanks and really appreciate it.”