PITTSFIELD -- Dody Brady was overwhelmed. She went to Facebook, as she often does, seeking support after her doctor told her the bad news about her breast cancer that had already mestastized into her bones.
The doctor on Monday told her she had fractures in the bones around her pelvic area following prolonged radiation treatment.
"I asked questions like I always do..," she wrote on her Facebook page. "I found out that my pelvic area has like six more spots! Boy they say God only gives you what you can handle ... My cup is getting pretty full! Lord in heaven bless my day as I need a little extra strength...! Amen!!"
Brady was depressed, until she received an unlikely response to the post, which she hopes will help others with cancer.
Pittsfield native Thommy O'Brien, a former model, actor, and childhood friend who now lives in New York City, saw the post. He was hired for a Nike footwear commercial that will air in the winter and he offered to donate the proceeds to cancer research. Brady urged him to donate it to cancer-support group Moments House -- where she is a board member -- to help the nonprofit move into a new building or rent a larger facility to accommodate growing demand.
Brady, and many others, have benefitted Pittsfield-based nonprofit located on Fenn Street, which has offered financial assistance, counseling support and assistance to those afflicted by cancer since 2011.
The commercial donation will likely amount to several hundred or several thousand dollars.
"I was overwhelmed, humbled and beside myself," Brady said.
The 43-year-old Lanesborough resident and O'Brien hadn't talked for years when he reached out to her. Brady was a friend of O'Brien's sister at Pittsfield High School.
"I was reading Facebook, and the news feed ... I thought that was crazy," O'Brien said. "You feel helpless reading that so I asked Dody to accept the proceeds from the commercial."
In the last few weeks, Moments House has started fundraising to accommodate it growth. Alice Trumbull, who co-founded Moments House with her daughter in January 2011, said its Fenn Street office doesn't have enough room for programming, or providing peace-of-mind privacy. It's current office quarters include one large room and a small back room.
Trumbull is exploring purchasing its current location , which would give it office space being used by two outgoing businesses. The building is owned by Cara Petricca, who provides a discount rent rate to Moments House.
"We had a concept in our head about who would need our services and now that we're here, we want to meet all of those needs of people," Trumbull said.
Brady was originally diagnosed in 2007. In 2011, she was told the cancer had mestastized to her bones and she was diagnosed with 22 tumors. The led to 33 straight months of radiation and chemotheraphy treatments, which caused bone fractures.
Brady said her doctor had told her she had four bone fractures. Given time, the bones can heal, but the fractures make the bones susceptible to breaking.
Brady, who tries to be an optimist, said she was thankful the fractures weren't in weight-bearing areas. Then she learned about the pelvic bone fractures.
She's thankful for O'Brien's good news to lift her spirits.
In addition to O'Brien's contribution, his agent will also forgo his share of the earnings. O'Brien also said there will be matching contribution from the New Jersey-based Anabel Foundation.
O'Brien said he's happy to help, and he plans to continue to do so in the future. He was a model in the 1990s, but then left to pursue a job on Wall Street.
O'Brien said the Nike commercial, which shows him and other acting as a hockey team in a practice scrimmage, was a rare return to acting. He's been in regular contact with Brady since.
"She's so positive when I know I wouldn't be," O'Brien said.
Anyone interested in donating is encouraged to call (413) 443-6800.