LANCASTER, Ohio (February 14, 2012) – Cancer survivor Michelle Unger and her sister-in-law Kendra Petrill, organized a “Strides 4 Survive Cancer Walk” at River Valley Mall to support the Fairfield Medical Center (FMC) Foundation cancer care fund. The fund exists to help FMC patients in need who are diagnosed with cancer.
Unger and Petrill’s goal was to register 150 walkers and raise $2,000. They were shocked to find out that more than 300 people registered for the cause and approximately $5,000 was raised as a result. “We went well over our goal and I can’t say enough about the support we received from the community,” Unger said. “The overall response was that it was good to know that the money would stay local and help our fellow neighbors through tough times.”
Unger knows how overwhelming it is to be diagnosed with cancer and what steps to take to prepare one’s self for what lies ahead. “I was lucky to have an extensive support system, but others aren’t so lucky,” she noted. “When diagnosed with cancer, the last things you need to worry about are basic needs like clothing, shelter, and where you will get your next meal. Our hope is that people will be able to afford treatment so they won’t have to sacrifice in other ways.”
The cancer care fund specifically helps patients with transportation to medical appointments, wigs, medications and provides overall support to patients in need. “The walk was such a success and we were so proud of Michelle for having such an impact,” said Ricki Chenault, FMC Foundation executive director. “On behalf of all of us at Fairfield Medical Center and the Fairfield Medical Center Foundation, we thank Michelle for going above and beyond to truly make a difference.”
Joyce Cox, FMC oncology nurse navigator, and Chenault teamed up with Unger to promote the event through the hospital. She noted that such an event is important to reach out to people who are helping a loved one cope with cancer or might one day be affected by this deadly disease. ”Michelle is such a thoughtful and courageous woman and so many patients will benefit from her good will through the cancer care fund,” Cox said.
Cox helped guide Unger from the very beginning of her diagnosis. “Joyce is my guardian angel and I don’t know what I would have done without her,” Unger said. “It is good to know we have someone like her to assist patients to make them feel more at ease.” Once she recovered she knew she had to do something to help others.
Fairfield Medical Center offers a full line of cancer services, providing treatment and support to patients in need. Cancer services include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and more. To learn more about the cancer care fund go to www.fmchealth.org or call (740) 687-8107.
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