Priced to move

Published 9:31 pm Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yard sale: Valarie Bragg shows off some of the items for sale in her month-long yard sale. Bragg is raising money to move back to her family in Michigan while she fights cancer.

Editor’s note: This is another in a series of stories leading up to the Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life, to be held May 13-14.

Valarie Bragg has terminal cancer, and all she wants is to be with her family.

However, her family is in Michigan, and she lives in Suffolk. Her inability to work, combined with piled-up medical bills, has made it hard to find the money to enable her to move back to Michigan.

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But she’s taking charge of her situation and is holding a month-long yard sale to help raise the money. She’s inviting the public to drop off unwanted items, as well as purchase a few, at her home daily through March 18.

“I have everything so cheap,” she said. “I’m nickel and dime-ing it.”

Bragg’s cervical cancer was diagnosed last May. It has since metastasized to her chest and other areas. She’s been told she has two years to live. Doctors are performing chemotherapy treatments.

“They’re trying to buy me time,” she said.

Bragg, who has custody of her grandson, is hoping to move back to Michigan to be with her family. Though she loves Suffolk, she needs to be with her family so they can help her fight the disease.

“I love it here,” she said. “I don’t want to move back to that cold state.”

On Friday, Bragg showed off different items lined up along her garage and driveway. Clothes — many with the tag still on — hang on racks in the driveway and cords strung across the garage. Stylish shoes are spread out on a table. Baby rockers, furniture, children’s toys, books, stuffed animals and even prom dresses — all are priced to move.

Bragg was working as a server at Outback Steakhouse until she became ill. Her boss and coworkers there took up a collection and gathered $200 for her.

So far, she’s raised about $800. She figures she needs about $2,000 for the move, for which she will use a portable storage unit because it’s one of the cheapest options. She hopes to move by next month.

“I’m trying to do it at a time when the weather is closer [to being warm there],” she said. “I can’t afford to get sick, and I can’t afford for my grandson to get sick.”

Bragg invites anybody to stop by her yard sale at her home, 812 Cripple Creek Lane (off of White Marsh Road). Anyone is welcome to donate items, buy items or both.

“I have lots of items,” she said. “I just need people to come to my yard sale.”

If all goes well, Bragg will be back at home in Michigan when Suffolk holds its Rockin’ Relay for Life. And while money raised at the event does not benefit individual cancer victims, its purpose is to help fund research aimed at finding a cure for cancer and therefore eliminating the need for stories like this.

To learn about how you can help the American Cancer Society in its larger fight against cancer, visit