The purpose of the Cancer Care Fund of Kosciusko County could not have been explained better than by someone who experienced the benefits. Dee Salmons Anderson spoke to a crowd of approximately 150 Saturday evening during the third Kosciusko County Cares Cocktails For Cancer.
Speaking under the large white tent at Oakwood Resort Lake Side Patio in Syracuse, Anderson spoke of how the fund kept her family surviving and from losing their home and vehicle during her husband’s 10-month battle with cancer.
Her husband, Steve, learned Christmas Eve 2011 he had stage four cancer. Within a short time the family’s life changed as they experienced the financially devastation cancer can cause. She had heard about the fund and contacted Laura Cooper with CCF. Tears of relief were shed when she was told the fund could pay the house payment and automobile payment for 10 months.
Her husband was the sole bread winner. He continued to work while receiving treatments, until he was laid off four months after being diagnosed. “We were a family of four living off $500 to $600 a month,” she said. While he applied for and was approved for disability benefits, there would be the mandatory five-month waiting period. “Six days prior to receiving the benefits and 10 months to the day on Oct. 24, 2012, he was taken home.”
She called the financial contributors to the fund, heroes. “There is no other word adequate to describe each and every one of you. You are living proof that there are people who run in and out of burning buildings.”
Anderson stated 2012 was a year of a million miracles that it took to survive the battle. “I compare it to the experience of being out in the ocean in the middle of a raging storm. Three survivors floating in a vast field of debris with no land in site. The kids and I still live in the same home and have transportation,” she said. This was because of CCF.
“Thank you for choosing to be a light in a dark place, calm in a raging storm.”
While totals for the evening are still being tabulated, the live auction brought in more than $11,000. Items auctioned included: a blue topaz and diamond necklace, two weeks at Anna Marie Island, Fla., paddle board with paddle, dinner and cruise on Syracuse Lake, vintage wooden boat ride on the Thunder Run on Wawasee with a breakfast patio champagne brunch and gift certificate to Main Channel Marina, 18-hole round of golf at Tippecanoe Country Club, overnight stay at Oakwood Resort, tickets to the Notre Dame-Georgia Tech game, framed Cubs jersey signed by John Lester, and a framed Natti Crow sunset picture.
During 2014, the Cancer Care Fund served 81 clients assisting with car payments, food, gas, insurance, prescriptions, mortgage payment. A total of $88,107.45 went towards helping those clients.
More information about the fund, qualifying for assistance, donating or participating in other fundraising events can be found through the K21 Health Foundation, which administrates the funds, at no cost.