Newly formed group helps cancer patients.
Cancer touches everyone’s life. Statistics provided by the American Cancer Society state there were an estimated 35,520 new cases of cancer in Missouri in 2018.
The effects cancer has on the patient are far reaching, but do not stop there. The toll the disease can and does take on a family can be limitless.
Patricia Howard knows this all too well, which is why she teamed up with other community members to form Livingston County Cancer Assistance.
“Paul was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Brain Cancer in October of 2017. When you hear the word cancer it is a shock. Your world is turned upside down,” she said. “You are faced with extra medical expenses, travel expenses and smaller paychecks. We were fortunate to have insurance, family, friends, and our church families to give us support. As we continued on our journey, we kept thinking that we needed to turn this negative into a positive. We talked about how much it lifted our spirits when someone would send a card or would help in some way.”
When the Howard’s began looking into avenues for local residents to find assistance as they battled cancer, she said there were not many options.
“We were told over and over again that there was a fund to help with travel expenses. We looked into it, but discovered that it did not exist,” she said. “Each of the counties that surround Livingston have a fund for their county residents. We thought...why can’t Livingston County have something like that? This might be a way to help others who are going through this difficult time.
So we started contacting people that we thought would be interested in getting one started.”
Soon, the Howard’s had began working with a group of seven other community members, and together they form the board for Livingston County Cancer Assistance. To help achieve a non-profit status the United Methodist Church agreed to sponsor the group. The church will collect and keep track of donations, along with issuing checks for those the board is able to help.
The purpose of Livingston County Cancer Assistance is to provide assistance to those who need it most, the group’s letter seeking support states. “Those who are in the midst of a trying time in their lives. A check in the mail to help with the fuel bill for getting back and forth to treatment, or to pay a utility bill when incomes are reduced.”
Board members include Paul Howard, Patricia Howard, Debby Peery, Sherry Jones, Lynn Jackson, Sandy Wolf, Sherry Weldon, Lori Lyon and Larissa Regan.
Those eligible for the program must be a Livingston County resident, have a cancer diagnosis confirmed by an oncology healthcare provider and be in active treatment. Contact the Livingston County Health Center for an application.
Future fundraisers are planned, until then the group is seeking donations to start helping those in need, as soon as possible. Anyone wishing to donate, should contact Sherry Weldon at the Livingston County Health Center at 646-5506 or Lori Lyon at the United Methodist Church of Chillicothe at 646-2580.
Board members can also be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Checks can be made out to UMC-LCCA and mailed to The United Methodist Church, 1414 Walnut St., Chillicothe, MO 64601.