ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A cancer diagnosis has prompted a couple to move ahead on plans to open a brewery and improvisational theater in Ann Arbor, drawing the name for the planned establishment from a tough day when everything felt pointless.
Tori Tomalia was diagnosed in 2013 with lung cancer that had spread to other parts of her body. A nonsmoker, she soon underwent chemotherapy. Drug treatment continues and her condition has improved, but there’s always the prospect of a change.
She and her husband Jason had hoped to open a theater after they had established careers and after their children were grown, The Ann Arbor News and the Detroit Free Press reported. But now they’ve rented a former sushi restaurant and are in the process of renovating it with the intention of opening the 60-70 seat Pointless Brewery & Theatre in the summer.
“I don’t think very far into the future,” said Tori, 39. “When I focus on what’s happening now, mentally, I can cope with it a lot better. But if I try to imagine what the family will look like in 10 years, I just don’t know, and that’s devastating.”
They raised money for the project online, exceeding a $50,000 goal in April. They plan to use the money for brew kettles, fermenters and other equipment.
“It’s all moving forward; there are just a lot of hurdles to jump over,” said Jason, 38. “Struggles are part of life. The tough stuff is so much easier to deal with when you’re doing something you’re passionate about than it is when you’re not.