A chef and owner at Lila, one of Sarasota's best restaurants, is undergoing radiation treatments for lung and brain cancer. Friends have launched a GoFundMe and Lila is hosting two special fundraising dinners to help him pay for his care and recovery.
After recovering from pneumonia in January, Arthur Lopes, a chef and co-owner at Lila and a longtime presence in the Sarasota food world, went in for a followup appointment and chest X-ray. The results showed three lymph nodes on his right lung, which prompted doctors to order a full body positron emission tomography scan, and that test turned up seven large lobes of cancer in Lopes' brain. On May 5, Lopes underwent six hours of brain surgery, but a followup magnetic resonance imaging test revealed that a small portion of cancer still remained.
"Currently, I am in the middle of a 10-treatment radiation program that is directed at my brain to treat the remaining cancer [there] and hopefully treat the lung as well," Lopes writes via email. Physically, he is "feeling well," he writes: "After each radiation treatment, which only takes about 15 minutes, I get a bit tired and I am extremely hungry. Nothing a good meal and a nap can’t cure."
Friends of Lopes have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help him pay for medical supplies, living expenses and in-home rehab and recovery. The campaign has so far raised nearly $24,000 out of a goal of $100,000.
Lila is providing Lopes with another boost. Lopes' partner at the restaurant, Ryan Boeve, originally planned a special dinner fundraiser for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 15, but that event quickly sold out. A followup dinner is now set for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16. The menu will include some of the "greatest hits" from Pomona Bistro & Wine Bar, the Rosemary District restaurant Lopes and Boeve owned prior to Lila.
Besides contributing to the GoFundMe or attending the June 15 dinner, there's another way to help out. "Prayers and positive energy [are] always welcomed," Lopes writes, "and in large amounts."
Lila is located at 1576 Main St., Sarasota. To reserve a seat for the dinner on Tuesday, June 16, call (941) 296-1042. To contribute to the GoFundMe, click here.