RICHLAND -- For Richland's Holly Boyce, part of beating breast cancer was laughing at it.
"The second I found out I had cancer, everybody was like, 'Poor you. Poor you,' " she said. "That was not how I wanted to be."
She started blogging about her cancer and making jokes about it.
While going through chemotherapy, she wore T-shirts with slogans like "Does this shirt make my head look bald," or "Bald is the new blonde."
"I really feel like a positive attitude is a lot of the battle. It's at least half," she said.
Her desire to share that message with others spun her blog, "Diary of a Bald Woman" into a nonprofit called Friends of the Bald Woman, which aims to provide support to women like Boyce who are experiencing cancer at a young age.
The group is throwing a party called the Bald Woman Ball at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Tri-Cities Convention Center designed in part as a fundraiser for the nonprofit, but also as a celebration of life.
It was modeled on "mom proms" she read about in other cities.
"It was designed to be an opportunity to relive your prom, or have one for the first time," Boyce said. "It's an opportunity to have a good fun night out."
She plans to get dolled up in a slinky, sequined little black dress that she said she knew was "the one" when she saw it on display at Amy's Bridal while picking up crowns for the prom king and queen.
Formal wear, however, is not required.
"A lot of us are wearing prom dress-type things, but others are just wearing the kind of thing you'd wear to a wedding," she said. "I don't want anyone to break the bank."
What she does want is for the people who attend to feel celebrated and glamorous, so they will get to walk a 25-foot pink carpet into the ball.
The event will include a DJ and photographer to mimic the experience of going to a high school prom, but unlike a prom, it'll have a bar, so only people over 21 can attend.
Tickets are $25 and are on sale at Ranch & Home, Franki & Co. hair salon in Kennewick and Casa Vino in Richland.
The proceeds from the ball will help the nonprofit provide support programs to people with cancer.
Boyce said a couple of her goals are to contract with a local business to provide meals to cancer patients and their families, and to provide stylish wigs to younger women going through chemotherapy.
Boyce was 30 when she stumbled across a lump in her breast in late 2009 that turned out to be cancer. She went through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and has appeared to be cancer-free for eight months now.
She said when she lost her hair from the treatment, it was hard to find wigs that appealed to her sense of style -- most were designed for women older than her.
"I felt like I was the only 30-year-old with cancer in the Tri-Cities," she said.
Boyce made it through treatment with support from her family and friends -- people who cooked meals for her husband and children, or did other tasks so Boyce could focus on winning her battle.
The nonprofit is her attempt to pay it forward and give other women the same kinds of support she had.
"If other people didn't have that opportunity, I wanted to make sure they did because it was so vital," she said.